Tag Archives: flowers

Ordering flowers online may lead to junk email

Thinking about sending mom flowers for Mothers’ Day?  While you can get most items cheaper online, flowers are one thing that are better when they’re locally delivered.  You’ll pay less at a local florist because you’re not paying a middleman.  I’ve also learned since my Valentine’s Day test for NewsChannel 5, that you can also avoid a barrage of floral reminders if you skip the online orders.

We tested a few online sites, and needed to give our email information for billing purposes.  When you checkout, you’re usually asked if you want to receive promotional emails.  Sometimes I click the box. Sometimes I don’t. The promotional emails for 1-800-FLOWERS are like none I’ve ever received before, and I do lots of shopping online.

The emails started out slow, with just two in January.  I got four in February, and then March rolled along and the emails skyrocketed. In March, I got an email every two days and sometimes more.  In April, some days I got more than one email. Since January, I’ve received at least 60 emails.  On May 1st, I received three emails.  Mother’s Day is the obvious reason for the onslaught in the last few weeks, but is there really a need to send me more than 60 emails in such a short time?  It’s to the point where I consider them spam.

I could easily hit “unsubscribe,”  but now it’s a game to see just how many emails I’ll get. Interestingly, the floral company gives you the option to reduce the number of mailings to just once a week. They must realize they send out a lot of emails. Your other option when you hit “unsubscribe” is to completely unsubscribe.

If you do a lot of shopping online, it’s a good idea to set-up a separate email address from your primary one.  Then, you can give the secondary email to companies. If you agree to marketing material for the occasional deal, you won’t need to worry about emails clogging up your Inbox. With a secondary account, you only have to read them when you’re looking for a deal.

In the digital age, something as simple as an email address is also a security risk.  Many of us learned this the hard way as our favorite companies emailed us to tell us their email lists were hacked. The hackers may only have your email address, but what information can the hackers gain from that to steal your identity in other places? This is really a concern if your email address is your username on another site.

Enjoy the holiday this weekend, but if you must order mom a gift online — choose carefully who you give your email address to and read all the fine print associated with your order so your Inbox doesn’t get filled with junk.

Related links you may like:
Security breach shines light on tips to protect your personal information
Getting rid of junk email
Erase your digital footprint

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Cheap floral options on Valentine’s Day

Haven’t bought your significant other flowers yet? No need to panic. There are some affordable options.

I’m not a huge fan of roses no matter what time of year it is. They’re nice, but tulips are my favorite.  I definitely don’t need roses on Valentines Day, because they are double and triple the price.  There are ways to save money on flowers, and deliver a great gift if you skip the roses.

Lillies are a great alternative. They are not a cheap flower, but they are cheap compared to roses on Valentine’s Day. Florists say that’s because the price of lillies doesn’t skyrocket around the holiday like roses do. Plus, they last a long time and they are fragrant and beautiful.

If you end up at the grocery store, just stay away from the carnations. They are cheap flowers, and most women know it. They last awhile, but they aren’t that pretty and did I mention they are cheap?!

While it’s supposed to be the thought that counts, don’t buy the cheap flowers. Be a smart shopper and go for a more exotic look for the price. It’s doable. You just have to know where to look. A friend’s boyfriend ordered online last year, and the arrangement was loaded with carnations. My friend said while it’s the thought that counts, she told me this year she’s happy with her gift that doesn’t include carnations. 

You can get that exotic look without breaking the bank by heading to Costco. The floral bouquets are cheap, but look expensive. Expect to pay $15-20 for a nice bouquet, and probably a little more if you want roses.  I work with a lot of men, as most news photographers are men, and I’ve taken them to Costco on Valentine’s Day over and over and I’d be happy with any of those bouquets.

Another option — mix and match your arrangement. This way, you can get some roses but still make it look like a sizeable arrangement by filling it with chocolates or a stuffed animal. The mix and match option will give you the best of both worlds. It will give your loved one some variety.

I like flowers, but as a money-saver I don’t see any reason to spend much more than $20-30. After all, it’s an investment that doesn’t last very long. That’s why when I send flowers I try to get a flower that lasts or I buy a plant. 

Plants don’t have to be green and boring. There are exotic looking plants that you can get for your loved one for a reasonable price. One option is the orchid. Most women love orchids. They’re simple, delicate, and beautiful. Plus, they last a long time.  You can spend a lot on an orchid, or you can go to one of the big box home improvement stores and buy one for $15-20.

How do you celebrate the holiday without breaking the bank? Share your ideas.