Online Services For Busy PeopleNovember 1, 2016
By Katie Quade,
These days, life is busier than ever. I don’t even have any kids and sometimes I wonder how I can possibly fit all of the things I need to do in a 24-hour day, so hats off to you working moms and dads! However, with all of the advanced technology — and the ability to get literally anything and the touch of your smartphone — there are a few services that are available to help make life a bit more manageable. Here are some tried-and-true suggestions from my fellow Ponies.
I use Amazon Prime’s subscription service for some regular household products like toilet paper and dog food. Those things you don’t realize you’re out of until you’re in a really precarious situation and wiping your butt with paper towels or feeding your dog Spam because you’re a terrible adult.
How it works: Amazon Prime has free two-day shipping. You get unlimited deliveries with no minimum order size. When shipping to select metro areas, Prime members get free same-day delivery on more than a million items and free 2-hour delivery with Prime Now on daily essentials and groceries.
Cost: $99/ year or $10.00 per month – first 30 days of the annual subscription are free, and you can cancel at any time.
In the past few years I’ve come to despise going to the mall. I’m not sure if it’s because time is a little more precious, but every time I enter a mall it’s like a recipe for insta-crabbiness. Aggressive sales people, bright and terrible lighting, people everywhere and screaming children. I much prefer online shopping, on my couch with a glass of wine, or more boutique-type stores where you can pop in and pop out.
How it works: Go online and fill out a detailed style profile with your personal style, schedule your fix and you get a pretty little box delivered to your door with the return envelope ready to go. You can customize your fix for an upcoming party and they’ll send you more party-like clothes. You can change your fix frequency at any time. It’s definitely a treat to have someone else pick out your clothes!
Cost: $20.00 per fix – if you purchase something, for example a sweater for $40.00, you’ll only pay $20.00 additional, as the base cost goes towards your purchase.
Local Crate has changed my life.
How it works: Local crate is an online meal-delivery service that sources as many local ingredients as possible, delivered to you weekly. You become the chef creating delicious meals with their step-by-step recipe cards. You choose your meals every Thursday before 9:00 p.m., and they’ll be delivered on the following Monday before 6:00 p.m. You can also choose your meal based on dietary needs, e.g. gluten-free or vegan.
Cost: $13.50 / serving, 2 meals of 2 servings each OR $12.00 / serving for 3 meals or more of 2 servings each.
I have used Birchbox for nearly three years now and I LOVE it! Aside from the fact that each shipping label includes a confidence-boosting adjective next to my name (i.e. “To: The Amazing Jane Johnson”), and the to-die-for artwork on their boxes which changes month to month, they send you some amazing products. I haven’t bought mascara since I signed up for it, and have made some game-changing finds. Also, you can go to your profile and customize what you like, don’t like, your complexion color and skin type to adjust the type of products you get. It’s a great little pampering to get once a month.
How it works: Each month you get a monthly beauty box of five samples tailored to your skin, hair and style. You get to try all different types of products, from haircare to skincare to makeup, and they always include information on how to use them.
Cost: $10/month, or $110/year
The Bouqs Co.
I really like Bouqs for flower delivery. I use it to send flowers to my long–distance friends on their birthdays or when big events happen. I’ve considered their subscription service because I love having fresh flowers in the house.
How it works: They cut their flowers on the day you order, and deliver straight from the farm so you get the freshest Bouq possible. This means delivery 2-4 days after cut versus 10-14 elsewhere. A curated selection means you won’t be overwhelmed.
Cost: A flat $40 with shipping included and no hidden fees.
I hate grocery shopping, and living downtown means we live in a food desert unless you want to spend your entire paycheck at Whole Foods (which happens sometimes). It’s super convenient and I feel like I save money because I’m not making any impulse purchases. Also, it makes having to run to multiple places for different things (Target, groceries, dry goods, liquor store) a thing of the past. Instacart does it for me and I get back more time in my day.
How it works: All you have to do is order your groceries online, schedule your delivery and get it delivered to your doorstep!
Cost: Prices displayed reflect the average in-store, pre-tax, per unit prices for the retailer in your area. The delivery fee depends on the size of your order and the delivery time you choose. With Instacart Express you get free delivery on 1-hour, 2-hour and scheduled grocery deliveries over $35.
Winc. (Formerly Club W)
It’s not the best wine I’ve ever tasted, but it’s relatively cheap and so, so, convenient. I have 4 bottles delivered to me every month. I don’t pick which wines I want in advance, so each month is a surprise and I’m trying new varietals and blends I’ve never tried before. You’re also encouraged to rate the wines after you try them to develop your profile and ensure future deliveries will suit your palate. You earn a $1 site credit for each bottle you review, so it’s a win-win. As an added bonus, all the bottles are beautiful. I’m a sucker for a good label.
How it works: With Winc, all you need to do is answer six questions about the flavors you love, and from there you’ll get curated wine selection that suits your palate, delivered monthly.
Cost: $39/month for 3 bottles of wine. You can get a coupon to join and get $26 off your first order. If you order 4 or more bottles, shipping is on them!
It’s a little present once a month.
How it works: While I didn’t get too much feedback on BarkBox, and don’t have any dogs myself, it seems like dog owners would eat this stuff up. Online, you choose a dog size, choose a plan (1, 6 or 12 months), and get the BarkBox on the 15th of each month. Every month they paw-pick fun toys, healthy treats, and innovative gadgets that will “drive pups bonkers!”
Cost: 1 month $29, 6 month $20/month, 12 month $20/month, free shipping for the US.
So friends, what online services makes your life easier? Let us know! Until then, happy prioritizing.