We are entering into anniversary season (at least in my small neck of the woods). Tomorrow is the 8th anniversary of my first date with my hubby. I still can't believe 8 years has flown by so fast! We'll be scrapping Wednesday's dinner plans in favor of a semi-recreation of what we did on our first date.

For our first date, we went to a movie, then shared appetizers at a nearby cafe, and sat in his car talking almost until sunrise. I remember it like it was yesterday. When I finally got home, I knew I had met my future husband. It was crazy, but 8 short- and sometimes crazy - years later I was right.

Unlike in our younger, slightly more foolish years, this year we will celebrate the anniversary at home with a favorite movie and we'll make quesadillas and chicken strips together. I love cooking with my hubby, and this will help us save some money, since we have a week long vacation next month to ring our 5 wedding anniversary. We have not taken a weeklong trip together since our honeymoon, so I think we're long overdue.

For our 5th anniversary, I initially wanted to go to Jamaica (or some other tropical, exotic, fabulous place), but after careful consideration, we'll be staying stateside (and supporting the U.S. tourism industry!) and travelling to The North East Coast. I have never seen the East, so I am crazy-excited to go, especially in the fall it should be beautiful. All of our deal shopping, bargain hunting, penny pinching ways have paid off. We'll fly into a cheaper airport and rent a car and drive to our final destination, much like we did when we went on our honeymoon. There, we actually flew into one city, caught a taxi to the ferry, a ferry ride to the island where we were staying, and a taxi again to the resort. Even with all that, we still managed to save a few hundred dollars by being willing to fly into a different airport.

Over the next week or two, I'll start making my list of places to go on our vacation, checking restaurant prices, and researching the cost of all activities. Even on vacation, we are frugal. And that's perfectly okay with me. I get to see an extra destination because the direct flight to our destination is ridiculously expensive - let's say it's cheaper to fly to Jamaica than to another U.S. city. Isn't that strange?

Tell me - what budget savvy travel tips do you hold true to?
I love weekends that are laid back and lazy, but it's not easy going in to work in the morning after that. The good news: I've got a fridge full of precooked pork (chops and roast) which I'll be basing many of our meals around and half a pot of Navy Bean Soup that my mom shared with me. Meal planning should be easy, but need to make sure we take a break from the pork at least twice.

Monday: DH's cooking dinner
Tuesday: Burritos con Carnitas with rice and quesadilla cheese, refried beans (frijoles)
Wednesday: Navy Bean Soup, focaccia bread, mixed greens salad
Thursday: Pulled Pork sammies, chips, baked bean casserole, garden salad
Friday: Pork tacos, leftover beans and rice
Saturday: Homemade pizza, mozzarella topped foccacia bread sticks
Sunday: Leftovers or chicken sausage and peppers
It's been a few crazy weeks here, I need to get my butt in gear, get my meal-plan set so it's one less thing for me to worry about and stress over. Sometimes life moves so fast, you have to hang on for dear life, grab it by the reins, and get taken along for the ride!

Monday: Cream of mushroom soup, roasted tomato foccacia, mixed greens salad, apple crisp
Tuesday: Roast pork with mashed potatoes, gravy, and garden salad
Wednesday: Enchiladas carnitas with red bell pepper, red rice, beans, shredded lettuce, sour cream, and salsa
Thursday: Fancy French Toast, strawberries, breakfast sausage, apple slices, orange juice
Friday: DH is back as Grill Master! Can't wait to see what he grills up! along with baked bean casserole and corn
Saturday: Italian-style chicken salad sammies or Kansas City-Style pulled pork sammies, chips, carrot sticks, corn on the cob
Sunday: Leftovers

Breakfast of the week: Swiss and Mushroom Frittata, cereal, yogurt, granola bars
Dessert of the week: White Chocolate Raspberry Bars
Lunches are dinner leftovers or chicken sammies
I love meal planning after a busy holiday weekend - so many leftovers, all I have to do is pick and choose what to have each day! We hosted a BBQ on Sunday for our fmailies and had about 8 people over. DH loves to grill, and thsi time he did a huge selection of meats - from steaks to ribs, burgers to brats and some chicken thrown in for good measure, we still have leftovers a-plenty to make into great meals.

Tuesday: Chicken, turkey bacon, and mushrooms tossed with pasta
Wednesday: Build Your Own Sandwich
Thursday: Brats and chicken, leftover red rice, salad
Friday: Chicken sammies, mixed green salad, apple

Lunch of the week: Anything we can turn into a sandwich or taco. I've presliced a chunk of ribeye and some Swiss cheese for some decadent sammies. We also have a partial rotisserie chicken that can be a simple chicken sandwich or get made over into chicken salad. Chicken or steak tacos with a chunky salsa are another easy option.

Breakfast of the week: Cereal, granola bars, yogurt, and bagels (wanted to get some of the bagels out of the freezer)

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