Ready, Set, Go – By Sue Jurjevic

All-About-programsIt is that time of year again, as we are finishing up our vacations and preparing for the school year to begin. Even though we feel as if they just got out of school for summer; time goes by quickly. Even if we aren’t ready, retailers have bombarded us with back to school specials and sales on supplies and clothes. Even while walking the halls and visiting with our many campers here this summer, they have expressed they are not ready to return to school just yet.

Summers are a little easier with less extra-curricular activities that the children typically have during the school year. Also, preparing meals are a little easier as well, considering most summer evenings result in cooking dinner on the grill. Grill cooking definitely has its perks; less clean-up and definitely less heat in the house; not to mention food cooked on the grill just tastes so good.

            I have had a lot of friends host freezer meal parties or even try it on their own. After looking into the idea of these meals and time saving that it is; it only makes since to share that with all of you. Basically what you do is have one day of shopping and then, the same day or the next, you cut and combine all your ingredients per the recipe and place it in a Ziploc bag and then freeze. Then set your menu for the month, pull the meal from the freezer and place it in the crock pot. Come home and with little prep dinner can be on the table in less than 10 minutes.

            The idea of this amazes me with our busy lives; especially with school starting soon and everyone getting back into the routine. You can choose a day or weekend before school starts and have enough meals in your freezer to last you until October. The benefits of having one less thing to do or worry about as everyone is adjusting to their routine are endless and priceless. Not to mention the added time to spend with your family at the end of the day. Less time cooking, and cleaning up after and more time enjoying the meal and communicating with your family.

            To make this process easy there are many websites out there that offer the recipes with shopping lists and menus. You can even get together with family or friends and help one another with the shopping and preparing. We all like time together with friends! Here is an idea get together with some friends; plan your meals, make your list; then choose a day that you meet for coffee, grocery shop, prepare the meals and then relax. You were able to spend time with a friend or family member and got a lot accomplished in one day. Just a thought!


Sue Jurjevic is a Recreation Specialist for the Manassas Park Parks and Recreation Department. She can be reached at 703.335.8872 or via email at

Community Matters is a blog created by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation. The blog features program updates, announcements of new services, special event notices, or information of general interest.

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