Putting a Price Tag on Love

February 12, 2014 Updated Feb 12, 2014 at 9:28 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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February 12, 2014 Updated Feb 12, 2014 at 9:28 AM EDT

According to the National Retail Federation, total Valentine's Day spending is expected to reach $17.3 billion this year. Though consumers are being cautious as they keep budgets in check.

Researchers say 54 percent of Americans will celebrate with their loved ones this year, down from 60 percent last year.

The average person plans to spend nearly $134 on candy, cards, gifts, dinner and more, up from about $131 last year. Men are expected to spend twice as much as women.

Valentine's Day isn't just for couples. Nearly 60 percent of consumers buy Valentine's for family members. More than 20% buy for friends and teachers.

Top-selling items include greeting cards. More than half of consumers say they'll send cards. Nearly half will buy candy. About one-third will give flowers while another third will celebrate with an evening out. 19 percent say they will splurge on jewelry.

And Valentine's Day is also for furry friends. 20 percent of consumers even plan to buy Valentine's for their pets.

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