Making Life Easier

Fontina Bruschetta

I've always prided myself on being independent and on doing the things I need to do to take care of myself. But having a chronic illness has led me to reevaluate what is important to me, and I've concluded that there are some places where I'm willing to spend a little money to make my life a little easier. That way when I am feeling well, I can focus on doing the things I enjoy. So here are some things I've tried in the past few months.

Cleaning

This one I thought about for awhile and was really hard for me. I guess I just believe as an adult I should be able to clean up after myself. But I finally gave in and hired a monthly cleaning service. And... I hated it. The cleaning service was fine, but I learned I'm too much of a control freak to let other people touch my things and clean my apartment. And I really don't mind cleaning that much. So I canceled it. I'd like to think I've gotten a little better about not worrying about the house being clean when I'm sick, but the first thing I did when I got home from the hospital recently was wipe down the kitchen counters, so clearly I've got some work to do.

Conclusion: This one didn't work for me, but if you can afford it and it works for you then go for it.

Recipe/Meal Planning

I currently have a subscription to PlateJoy, a service that gives you recipes and grocery lists. There is also an option to get groceries delivered through Instacart. I believe I paid around $48 for a six-month subscription. There are a lot of options to customize the menus, such as gluten-free, no red meat, etc. and you can also list specific ingredients you don't like. However, the more restrictions you place, the fewer recipes it shows you (I think I ended up with only four dinners in my queue). There are some annoying things and some kinks. For example, I can't figure out how to select a specific recipe from the queue. I think they are continuing to make improvements though. Of the four dinner recipes I made, I really liked three and couldn't eat one (although my husband ate it). I liked that they didn't use a lot of obscure ingredients and were pretty easy to make.

Conclusion: I'm not quite ready to give up on it, but will probably not renew my subscription when it expires. I'll probably try to find a way to print out the recipes I liked to use later.

Grocery Delivery

I hate food shopping. I can't get myself to go after work. I hate that it takes up time on the weekend. I end up going on Sundays, and hate that it's crowded and everything is out of stock. I hate trying to guess whether I've bought too much and it will be too heavy to carry home (I live in the city without a car). I felt really lazy using a delivery service, but decided to try Peapod. And it is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I can take my time picking things out online! And the groceries just show up! I try to tell myself the delivery fee and tip for the driver are balanced out by looking for sales and buying the store brand items, but that may not be true. One downside though is that they do not always stick to the delivery window. One day my delivery time was 6 to 8 pm. They called around 7:30 pm to say they'd be there at 9:25 pm. At 10 pm I called and asked what the deal was and they were still half an hour away. They did cancel my order without charging me, but I have trouble making it up past 9 pm and was exhausted.

Conclusion: This really has made my life a lot easier, but I am more careful now about when I schedule deliveries.

Meal Delivery

I just got my first box from Plated this week. I chose Plated in particular because it seemed better for picky eaters. You can choose from nine menus for each week (I signed up for two meals a week), and you can skip weeks. So far I've made chicken cobb salad (I didn't eat the lettuce - too much fiber) and fontina bruschetta with fried eggs. Both were delicious and it almost made me excited to cook. Now I just need to figure out what to eat the rest of the week.

Conclusion: So far, so good.

 

What about you? If there are any services you've tried that have made your life easier, please comment!