By Jess Sharp, Money team
Valentine’s Day – love is in the air, and money is leaving your wallet.
The traditional flowers and chocolates are usually a safe gift to purchase.
But, with a decent dozen roses likely to set you back anywhere from £60 to £130, are there any cheaper alternatives?
Sky News has spoken to two florists for their top picks for those on a budget – and those who are willing to splash the cash.
How to spend less on roses
Nikki Meader from Kent says you can buy roses on a budget – but sometimes one quality rose is better than 12 “petrol station” ones.
“Even just a single rose sends just as good a message,” she says.
At around £5 from most florists, it is one of the cheapest options.
If you want a cheaper option, we also found an artificial single rose on Amazon for £3.49.
Cheaper alternatives to roses
For a £30 budget, Nikki says a bouquet of germinis, carnations and alstroemeri can be a good option – or anything with different textures.
London-based florist Karen Woolven suggests a mixed bouquet of spring flowers, which are often British grown, can be also be a cheaper option.
“Look to your independent florist for their mixed bouquets of seasonal flowers, which will normally also include roses, and generally some red ones. These are just as impressive,” she says.
For a mid-range alternative to a bouquet full of roses, an arrangement of orchids, gerbera, alstroemeria and carnations is a good option for around £50, Nikki says.
Coming in a range of colours, from pinks and burgundies to bright green and orange, they can suit everyone’s taste.
Nikki says this is the best-looking bouquet for your money.
Karen says a bouquet of scented oriental lilies, long stemmed roses and seasonal foliage is the best mid-range option.
Retailing at around £60 with independent florists, this is a selection that looks elegant and sophisticated.
We found other examples of similar bouquets on sites such as Interflora and eFlorist that cost between £40 and £75.
Money no object
If you’re looking to make a statement, Nikki says just go all out and do “the full thing” – expensive roses, chocolates and champagne.
Karen suggests that going for a bespoke design would be the best option.
“If you chat to your florist in good time, the florist will be able to ascertain the many likes and dislikes that the recipient has and work on creating the best individual design for you,” she said.
Quality, quality, quality – and how to check for it
Nikki says size doesn’t matter – quality is the important thing.
A low-quality rose will last a few days and its bloom will be small.
A high-quality rose will last weeks and have a larger bloom and longer stem, typically between 60 and 70cm.
Nikki says: “The longer it is, the better. It doesn’t matter where you get it from, but you should look at the quality.”
Karen advises buying from an independent florist with a great reputation is a clear way to make sure you are getting quality products.
A good way to check your florist is to see if they are a member of the British Florist Association or the Good Florist Guide.
“Pop into their store pre-Valentine’s and look at their flowers,” she says.
“The heads and stems of the flowers should be strong and upright, no markings or visible bruising. The leaves on the stems should be bright and not yellowing or brown.”