At the end of a long day that started with screaming kids at 6am, the last thing you want to do is groceries, laundry or, worse, to clean the house. Take these tasks off your plate by using a few key services that make sure it happens for you. If the budget is tight, consider where there’s wiggle room, or how you can cut back—the cutting back, or extra spending if you can’t find room in the budget, will be well-worth your newfound sanity and peace of mind.
1. Grocery Delivery
This time-consuming necessity is quickly becoming easier to manage with grocery delivery. Many large grocery chains, including Whole Foods and Safeway, now offer it, making it accessible even to families in rural areas. You can order what you need while on the go—most of the stores use an app or website for you to place your grocery order—so you don’t need to take any time out of your day; do it while you’re eating lunch or taking a quick walking break at work.
If you can’t find a local store that offers delivery, check out an online service. There are a wide variety of options now available, and all online ordering services deliver right to your door. Alternatively, you can find a local store that offers curbside pick-up; no need to go i
nside, you just have to jump out of the car and load it up when the groceries are ready.
Laundry is time-consuming, especially when you have kids that go through as many as three outfits a day between school, sports and other extra curriculars. A wash and fold laundry service is exactly what you need to get laundry done without finding extra time in your day for it.
This comes in especially handy when you have so much on your plate, you forget about washing a very specific outfit for you or your kids: “One of the worst things is when you forget to clean your favorite shirt or pair of dress pants and you have nothing to wear for the big event in your life. With Wash and Fold you can keep your clothes fresh without finding a couple hours of time that it takes to do laundry,” suggests the guide, 10 Reasons to Use a Wash and Fold Laundry Service.
Instead of settling for a second-rate outfit from the back of the closet, just drop everything off in the morning and pick it up after work. Most wash and dry laundromats offer same-day service, and will even text or email you when the clothes are ready for pick-up.
3. House Cleaning
A clean and organized home means your brain is less cluttered too—and if you have small kids, it may feel impossible to keep a clean home and run your life at the same time. A house cleaning service makes your life easier by taking care of this must-do job for you. Not to mention, they come while you’re at work or out running errands, so you don’t have to worry about working around them while you’re at home.
If you’re wondering what to budget for, Angie’s List suggests an average hourly rate of $25 to $45; with just two hours of cleaning each week, you’ll likely spend less than $100 weekly.
If that doesn’t fit in your budget, consider having a cleaner come just once a month. This will give you a clean slate to start with, which may be just what you need to start each month on the right foot.
This service is similar to grocery delivery, except there’s even less for you to do. With the ingredients and recipe delivered, your job is to simply put it together before you run out of steam. Some services even deliver pre-made meals, which eliminates that step altogether.
While there are many companies that offer that service, consider this review of the top five by MoneyCrashers. Don’t forget to check the region where you live. There may be local companies that offer this as well, which could potentially be cheaper and allow you to support a small local business.
Few things are worse than taking your car into “the shop.” Not only do you usually have to go out of your way, but then you either need to situate cars so everyone gets where they need to go, or sit at the shop—alone or with kids, it’s always miserable.
Use an app like Your Mechanic to find someone who will come to you instead. The best part: they’ll come to your office too, so you don’t have to miss more work time to wait for your mechanic to arrive. Use their website or app to get an instant quote and then coordinate the meeting spot; it’s so easy, you may not even have to add to your ever-growing to-do list.
Make Your Life Easier
Use these services, or ones like them, to save time, sanity and energy. Your busy family can only run like a well-oiled machine when you’re at your best. With fewer things to take care of, you’ll be happier and less stressed, which is a win-win for everyone.
About Jessica Thiefels
Jessica has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time writer. She’s written for Reader’s Digest, AARP, Lifehack and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect LinkedIn.