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Feeling like a Valentine's cheapskate?

Don't feel bad if you're being a bit of a cheapskate this Valentine's.

Seems you're simply a trend follower who's taking cues from the herd that's not opening their wallets as wide for this holiday saluting love.

A survey by shows Canadians plan to spend an average of $74 to celebrate Valentine's this year, a stingy 20% drop from $93 last year.

Of course, we have a pandemic to blame.

</who>Instead of a fancy, expensive dinner out, many Canadians are finding cheaper ways to celebrate Valentine's in these COVID times.

Feb. 14, 2020 was an intoxicating and innocent time, a full month before COVID hit us with a one-two punch that changed everything.

Last year, we splurged on indulgent dinners out, chocolates, roses, greeting cards and maybe even lingerie and a dirty weekend away.

This year, Valentine's falls 11 months into a pandemic that's battered restaurants and made us hesitant to go out.

As such, most of the budget slash for Valentine's 2021 is due to couples not booking fancy restaurants for romantic dinners.

Instead, they're opting for take-out or home-cooked meals with their own wine.

Couples may also be further tightening the purse strings because of COVID economic uncertainty and opting for totally free activities like spending quality time together, sex and-or going for a hike.

Kamloops and the Shuswap is better off than other parts of the country because restaurants here are actually open for dining in.

In other parts of Canada, COVID lockdowns mean restaurants are open for take-out only.

So the moral of the story may be to take advantage of that extra freedom, go out for dinner if you can afford it and don't skimp on the chocolates, flowers and other gifts either.

As for that amorous weekend away, you'll have to do it close to home because COVID travel restrictions urge you to stay in your own community.

Happy Valentine's Day.

</who>The average Canadian will spend about $74 this year on Valentine's, compared to $93 last year, a plunge of 20%.

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