Thursday, May 5, 2016

For the days when you just can't...

It has been busy lately. Too say the least.

I have two kids graduating (you cannot imagine how much momming goes into a 5th grade promotion), two jobs, several volunteer positions, an event to plan, a dog, a cat, and six chickens. They're all vying for my attention. Plus my entire family is coming to visit in just a couple of weeks and my living room is only a quarter painted. My husband does his best to help me keep my sanity, but there is only so much he can do. He works full time, and the status of my sanity is pretty fluid anyway. My kids help too. They do the dishes, take out the trash, and pick up their dirty socks. They would also tell you they clean their own rooms. I would tell you that they try.

Even with the help of my family, I am the one at home all day. By default, this means that I am the one stuck in the chaos. And most of the time, I have to tell you, I just can't. I seriously cannot. I have absolutely no can left. With normal daily life and a couple of work-at-home type jobs combined with my inherent laziness, I am looking for some ways to cut corners. To lighten the load. To be able to not rush out to the grocery every evening or feel like I'm going to be swallowed whole by an overflowing laundry hamper.

If I'm looking for the corners to cut, and I'm in my house all day, I can only imagine what parents who have jobs outside the house feel like; who can't throw in a load of laundry between calls; who work until 5 or 6 and still have to have dinner ready before soccer or ballet.

After some extensive research (5 minutes on Google), I have found some things I think will make life easier. And, because I'm a helluva gal, I've decided I will test them out so you don't have to.

Worst case scenario: I will know better than to cut corners in the future.

Best case scenario: I will provide myself and other stressed out parents a few precious minutes of downtime.

 AMAZON FRESH: I'm not really sure what I've been doing with my life that has not involved Amazon Fresh. I'm not really sure at all. So many wasted days...

Basically, Amazon Fresh is an offshoot of Amazon Prime. For a Prime Fresh membership, it will run you $299 for the year. But they like to tell you it's something like $3.84 per week in addition to your annual Prime payment. Isn't it cute how they do that? Normally, I would laugh heartily at that price point and keep scrolling, but, guys, desperate times...and also, FREE MONTH TRIAL! They got me with that one free month. I love free junk almost as much as I love lasagna. I set up an alarm on my phone notifying me when to cancel my membership (Yes. I am that cheap.), and started shopping.

Right off the bat, I could tell that I had found my happy place. Browsing the virtual aisles of this grocery store from the comfort of my sofa with a sleeping baby on my chest? YES PLEASE. EVERY DAY. My goal was to get all the non-perishable things I need for the upcoming weekend, and to spend no more than I would at Ralph's. It was very easy to find everything, even the same brands I use, either through the search bar or scrolling through the different departments. The way the site is set up, it is actually difficult not to find (more than) what you are looking for.

I double checked my cart, and discovered that if you spend $40 or more, delivery is free. Who doesn't spend more than $40 per grocery trip? I spent $67 this time around. About $20 less than I anticipated spending at Ralph's. Not too shabby. I saved 20 bucks and never had to leave my living room!

On to booking my delivery time. Since I was a rookie, I didn't realize that you could set your delivery date/time before you start shopping. I highly recommend doing this. You set your time, and they give you 60 minutes to shop. Because I didn't check, I had no idea that there weren't any available times left for today. So much for instant gratification. I set my delivery time between 10am and 1pm tomorrow, and reminded myself that patience is a virtue. But, ughhh. Patience is hard.

All in all, this shopping trip took me about 10 minutes start to finish. That includes the time I took to start my free trial. When I factor in the time it takes me to drive, shop, wait at the register staring blankly at Kardashian headlines, drive home, and unload the car, I'm estimating this saved me about 50 minutes. 50 beautiful minutes. That's nearly an hour of bonus sweatpants time!

I can't imagine that I will ever pay $299 annually for this service, but for a crazy month like this one is turning into, it is absolutely worth the $3.84 per week.

SAUCEY APP: Have you ever had one of those days where you have baby vomit in your hair, no clean pants, a dirty dish mountain forming in your sink, your kids look like they're reenacting Lord of the Flies, and there is not one drop of wine in your house?

No? Neither have I. Because I always have my shit together. But if I ever did have one of those days, I would think that Saucey was created exclusively for me. Some kindred spirit in a mom group brought this service to my attention, and I thought it needed further investigation. You know, just in case my shit isn't together one day.

You can download Saucey for Android or iPhone. You can even use the link above and order from your home computer. Enter your zip to make sure you are in the delivery area, then start shopping!

First you click the cool little icon representing what type of booze you're looking for. They have everything. I am serving swordfish for dinner, so I shopped in the white wine. From what I can tell, it's safe to say you'll be over charged by as much as $5/bottle. I expected that. We'll call it a convenience fee. They have to make money... The nice part is that if you reach a certain dollar amount, I believe it's $35.00, delivery is free.

They have a "mixers" section too. As I have forgotten to buy ginger beer the last 89348574 trips I've made to the grocery, I took a look for that as well. And limes. Because a Moscow Mule doesn't sound too shabby. They had both, and so much more. Marg salt, pre-mixed concoctions, maraschino cherries. They even sell ping pong balls and Solo cups for all you classy broads.

I hit a little glitch about this time. I'm not going to lie. This very easily could have been user error. The first few times I proceeded to checkout, it emptied my shopping cart and I had to start over. Annoying, but not a deal breaker. I was only getting 3 things so it didn't take long to refill the cart.

After you checkout, Saucey sends you a text letting you know your delivery will be there within the hour. They also give you a play by play of the action through the app...
Roshawn is on the way, guys!

The only notes I have on this otherwise flawless service are that you can't place an order before 4pm, so do not expect emergency mimosa deliveries for your 11am brunch, and there is no information on the site regarding a tip. Because this is a delivery service with a local driver, not a shipping service like UPS, I think tipping is the way to go. In fact, I am of the mind that only savages and Trump supporters fail to tip people in the service industry. You choose your own path, but know I will be silently judging you if you stiff Roshawn.

I have more services set up for the future, but it would be insane for me to try everything in 2 days. I have thoughts on Ubereats vs. Grub Hub and EAT24. I will also be utilizing a cleaning service after I find out who will give me the best price to restore my home to its former glory (former like before we moved in). I have to tell you, for the price, even that $99 topless maid van is in the running...if only I believed they actually cleaned anything.

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