I’m Outsourcing My Life

Since I’ve become a mom, I am ever aware of time, or more specifically the lack thereof. While there are days the hours seem to stretch endlessly into the distance (usually when everyone is sick, or crying), most of the time I am running around trying to figure out how to pack ALL THE THINGS into the time between leaving work and bedtime. There’s always something to do, somewhere to go, someone to call, or someone to feed, and I often have no idea how to pack it all in.

But I’ve come to a realization. My time is valuable. Maybe not to others, and maybe not in a way that can always be defined in dollars, but the years are just flipping by while I slowly check off items on my “to do” list. So, I decided to make a change. I decided to outsource my life! Let me just explain . . .

Call me lazy, call me crazy, but I’ll try anything once if it promises to save me time. If I had the means, I would happily assign out all my day-to-day tasks and errands. And it seems that there are more choices for doing this every day. While I can’t afford a kick-butt personal assistant like the celebs do (a girl can dream, though!) I can take advantage of the apps and services available from the comfort of my very own smartphone.

From grocery delivery to scheduling a massage (mama needs a time out sometimes!), I love being able to order up conveniences from the palm of my hand. And because I’ve tried so many, here are my top four favorites:

  1. Shipt/Instacart – Shipt and Instacart are grocery delivery services. You install the app of your choice on your phone, select a store, and pick out all of the groceries you’d like to have delivered. Both services offer yearly subscriptions, and if you are a subscriber you pay no delivery fees on orders over $35. In my area, Meijer is the only store available for shopping on Shipt, but Instacart offers several, including Costco. Prices are slightly higher than you would pay in-store, but you can connect your Meijer rewards account with Shipt, which will apply any discounts or coupons in your account. Shoppers communicate with you via text (or in the case of Instacart, via the app) while they are gathering your order, and deliver everything to your doorstep. Easy peasy!
  2. Mindbody – whether you are looking for a place to try yoga, barre, spinning or even a massage, Mindbody is your spa and fitness concierge. Here, you can book classes, purchase memberships and passes, and even explore to find a new spot to work on your downward dog. I don’t know about you, but something about booking these things from an app seems so much easier than calling and talking to a live person.
  3. Blue Apron – Planning meals for my family of five is sort of a big task. Usually, on Sundays, I sit at my table and thumb through my cookbooks, trying to figure out the best and easiest plan for our week. With Blue Apron, someone else takes care of part of that planning for me. This service delivers all you need to put together some really yummy meals right to your doorstep, with everything in pre-portioned amounts so there’s not a lot of waste. They offer 2 or 4-person plans, and the meals offer generous portion sizes – the 4-person, 2 meal per week plan is perfect for us.
  4. Gwynnie Bee – For women sizes 10 and up, Gwynnie Bee is like having a good friend with an awesome wardrobe who always lets you borrow her clothes. With this service, you essentially rent clothes selected from an online “closet” that you curate yourself from a constantly updating selection of on-trend pieces. When you get your box, you can keep the pieces for as long as you want, or send them right back in the bag provided (shipping is free). Your subscription fee depends on the number of items you want to take out at a time. When you send your items back, Gwynnie Bee sends you new ones to replace them – the number of times you can do this in a month is unlimited. You don’t have to launder the items if you don’t want to before sending them back, as the service takes care of that for you. Since subscribing, I’ve tried a ton of styles that I might have otherwise skipped, and it’s made me greatly expand my choices in fashion overall. Plus, on those days I feel like I have nothing to wear, I almost always have a Gwynnie Bee gem waiting in my closet.

These apps and services, while not quite the same as having a personal assistant, allow me to save time when I need to most. And I’ve got to admit – they even make some of these tasks sort of fun!

Do you “outsource” any of your errands with an online service or app? Tell us your favorites! I’d love to try them out too!

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