Stretching your Mother's Day dollars

Charlotte, NC - By Maureen O'Boyle - bio | email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) –  Mother's Day shoppers can expect to spend a little more this year.

The National Retail Federation says Americans will spend about $127 on Mother's Day gifts.

With that in mind, I went searching for the best deals on two big ticket items, flowers and candy.  What I learned in the process might be the best part of the story.

The web site, linked me to several different online retailers that sell products designed just for mom.

I found a good deal on tulips.  For $29.99, I got 30 assorted tulips through the web site  With tax and shipping, it cost me $46.53.  The tulips arrived in a box with my free clear vase and some flower food.

I took the flowers to Fashion Florist near uptown Charlotte.  Carolyn Wiles, the owner, thinks for some people, boxed flowers work.  She points out the prices are less from many online flower companies, but the care given to the flowers, she believes, is less than ideal.

Click to see our WEB EXTRA: How to make Mother's Day flowers last longer.

"They probably pay less per stem than your local florist, but they do nothing to add value to the product," Wiles said.  "They don't keep it in a cold chain environment."

Keeping flowers cool, nourished and watered is key.

As for chocolates, I looked online and found Vosge.  I spend almost $40 for 18 chocolates in a very pretty purple box.  But when I searched for a local store that sold high-end chocolates, I found a treasure on Church Street in Waxhaw.

Waxhaw Art and Chocolate features gourmet chocolates and local art.  Owner Brickland Ward says the benefit to shopping at her store for mommy's gift is you're helping other moms in the process.

"You're supporting our local economy and you're also supporting working moms who are trying to incorporate our passion for art in a fun little shop and take care of our kids," said Ward.

If you want to shop online, there are deals to be had at  The web site will link you to all sorts of online retailers.

Happy Mother's Day!

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