House & HomeMom's LifeThe KitchenWork and Passions

Brighten Up Your Living Space for Less Than $5.00

by Sarah Powers on March 31, 2014

We’ve started dedicating Monday mornings to a single tip or simple idea to get your week off to a better start. This week it’s my turn! -Sarah

fresh flowers in a mason jar

I used to think that displaying fresh flowers in a vase was something other people did. Martha Stewart types, or people with more taste and style than I had, or more disposable income, or a more exciting social life. Every once in a while I would get a bouquet as a gift and enjoy it while it lasted, but the idea of buying flowers for myself seemed somehow excessive or frivolous.

But a couple of years ago, I started making fresh flowers part of my weekly grocery shopping routine. It started with daffodils at Trader Joe’s one spring – priced so low I couldn’t resist them – and at the time it felt like a special treat. At $1.99, though, it was hardly indulgent (a Starbucks coffee cost more, after all), and the cheery yellow blooms lasted a whole week.

plan a better week
Over time, it became a fun little challenge for myself: Could I find flowers for less than $5.00 and make them last all week? It turns out, I almost always could. And here are a few things I discovered in the process:

  • I prefer a small bouquet of the same type of flowers to a bigger mixed arrangement (just my personal taste) – and often these are less expensive. Daffodils, tulips, gerbera daisies, sunflowers, and those ranunculus blooms pictured all work really well.
  • Glass jars make the prettiest vases. If you’ve been reading here a while, you know I have a thing with the jars. And the flowers in jars.
  • Bigger isn’t always better. Sometimes two stems in a tiny bud vase make me twice as happy as something bigger. (Bud vases also come in handy later in the week when most of the blooms are drooping – just salvage one or two, cut them short and make a mini arrangement!)
  • Remove all the lower leaves from long stems before arranging. I learned this from Danielle Smith in a video she shared last year.
  • Grocery store floral departments have sales and specials, too. Once fresh flowers became a part of my weekly routine, I started noticing pricing patterns, club card savings and seasonal sales just like I do with food. Because I have a $5.00 limit for myself, sometimes I try out a new flower or buy something outside my normal taste because it’s on sale.


As we talk about quite a bit here at The Happiest Home, sometimes the little things are really not-so-little. A jar of bright blossoms on my countertop is cheap and easy and low-commitment as compared to other home decorating ideas, but it’s a ritual that (literally) brightens our home and adds color to our days. And it turns out, it’s not just for other people – it’s for me, too. :)

If your home could use a spring pick-me-up this week and you’re not in the habit of buying fresh flowers for yourself, why not give this a try? 

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Want more ideas from our Plan a Better Week series? You can get them all right here:

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey March 31, 2014 at 8:16 am

Oh, amen to this! I am a huge believer in the power of fresh flowers and almost always have them on my kitchen island too. And I also love a smaller arrangement of all the same bloom. I need to find some new ones today actually!


Sarah Powers March 31, 2014 at 8:59 am

Yay, thanks Lindsey! :)


Elizabeth Johnson March 31, 2014 at 9:17 am

I agree! I brought home a lovely bunch of pink-and-white tulips from the grocery store on Saturday. They were a whopping $3! they added a hopeful touch of spring to the living room.


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri March 31, 2014 at 10:28 am


I agree! I buy flesh flowers at Trader Joe’s too.
Every time I walk into my living room, the flowers greet me. It is an instant mood booster.


Nina April 2, 2014 at 11:50 am

We have the same taste! I tend to favor uniform flowers, and the simpler, cheaper kinds too. I love using Mason jars and yes, long narrow vases for a single flower or two.

I try to get flowers whenever there’s a special occasion or a holiday.


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