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Wabi Sabi Welcome
Photo: Workman Publishing

A vase of fresh flowers can breathe new life into any room—literally—but so often, a bouquet of blooms is thought of as an unnecessary indulgence. Entertaining expert and Wabi-Sabi Welcome author Julie Pointer Adams is here to squash the belief that bright blossoms need to be saved for special occasions.

“The key is knowing how to create a beautiful bouquet without spending a ton of money,” she says. “Then you’ll think of it as an everyday indulgence for yourself—not just for when you have people over.”

Her book is full of tips on how to entertain guests—without getting completely stressed out—and covers decor, recipes, and yes, flower arranging.

Here, she shares her secrets for creating a beautiful bouquet without breaking the bank.

Scroll down for three expert tips for buying flowers on a budget.

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tulips
Photo: Stocksy/Jared Harrell

1. Choose blossoms with a long shelf life

It’s a major bummer to fork over $20 for fresh flowers only to have them wilt a couple days later. Fortunately, Pointer Adams knows which kinds last the longest—and are readily available at most grocery stores. “One of my favorites is called the wax flower, which has little white blossoms,” she says. “They last for up to two weeks, and they’re also pretty inexpensive, too.”

Another one of her favorites is tulips. “They not only last a while, but they also die pretty,” she says. “Even when they’re wilted and falling apart, I just love how they look.”

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bouquet of flowers
Photo: Stocksy/Hung Quach

2. Use one flower to make a statement

When Pointer Adams puts together an arrangement, often she uses just one big, beautiful bloom and surrounds it with less expensive greenery—like baby’s breath, ruscus, and eucalyptus—for filler. “Going a bit heavier on the foliage looks more wild, which is really my approach,” she says. “You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a dozen flowers to create a beautiful bouquet.”

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tablescape
Photo: Stocksy/Adrian Cotiga

3. Think outside the floral aisle

When shopping for centerpiece materials, our flower-arranging expert says it’s worth it to meander over to the produce section—yes, seriously. “I’ve seen beautiful bouquets with rhubarb and leeks,” she says. “And some fruit, like oranges, peaches, and figs, are great for incorporating into a tablescape. Even cabbage can look good.” The added bonus is that you can of course eat your display, too.

But if you’re still worried about keeping your blooms bright and fresh long enough to justify the cost, there’s always succulents.

You don’t need a green thumb at all to appreciate these next-level succulent cakes. And here’s how to create an Instagram-worthy plant installation in your shower