Let’s face it: running a household gets tiring sometimes. Between cleaning, cooking, shopping for groceries and staying on top of the basic supplies, it can feel like your second shift begins the minute you get home from work. Luckily, the magic of the internet allows you to take some of that household grunt work off your hands. Services like meal kit delivery, HVAC maintenance packages and air filter subscriptions—or even a home decor box—are all ready to make fast work of painful household chores. Today we’ll give you a rundown of your home subscription and service options to help you decide which ones are right for your household.
House Cleaning Services
Some people really enjoy cleaning house. For the rest of us, it’s a dreaded task that we delay and delay until the bathroom gets too disgusting to stand. But hire a housekeeper? It seems like a lot of money to spend on something you could do yourself, right?
Not necessarily. Studies suggest that services that relieve you of dreaded household work—freeing up time for fun things—actually make us a lot happier than material goods. Okay, now that we’ve relieved you of that guilt, it’s time to start narrowing down your options.
The first step is determining exactly what you think you need cleaned and how often. Basic cleaning services typically include dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom and making the beds. However, some will offer stain removal, pantry cleaning and laundry, as well, but there may be an extra fee added for those services. Cleaners are usually available weekly, biweekly or monthly—and for one-time visits for special events.
Survey says: If you hate to clean, this is definitely worth the money.
Meal and Meal Kit Delivery
In the past few years, a range of meal delivery services and kits have popped up, all promising to save you the hassle of putting together a delicious, healthy meal. Services like Blue Apron and Hellofresh deliver a recipe, together with just the right amount of ingredients, and let you do the rest of the work. The benefit is that you get a pre-vetted recipe, prepped and measured ingredients, and no running back to the grocery because you forgot the brussels sprouts.
The value of these really is going to depend on how much you loathe grocery shopping and trying new recipes. If you’re worried about wasting your money, however, The Kitchn actually compared the dollar-for-dollar value of these services and found that they actually work out pretty close to the cost for store-bought ingredients—but without the effort of actually elbowing your way through the line at the checkout.
Survey says: A must-subscribe if you’re tired of going to the grocery store three times a week, hate looking for new recipes, or can’t tell the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon.
On the other hand, if you do like to throw together your own meals, grocery delivery service offers a happy medium—and means you don’t have to go out for snacks, necessities and pantry staples either. Services like Instacart or Shipt allow you to pick your favorite grocery store (if it’s on their list!), order items, and get same-day delivery, all without stepping away from your desk.
Those who’ve tried these services usually fall into one of two camps: those who love it for the time and hassle it saves them, and those who think the price markups are way too high. If you’re interested in one of these services, it’s definitely worth checking out The New Food Economy’s coverage of the topic first. It breaks down how—and why—services like these add markups and how you can avoid some of the worst ones.
Survey says: You’ll need to weigh how much you hate to shop versus how much you hate paying $2.99 for a can of chick peas.
HVAC Maintenance Packages
Your home’s AC and heating are just like any machine: they perform a lot better with a regular tune up. That’s the logic behind HVAC Service Maintenance Packages, anyway. One to two times a year, your HVAC provider sends a technician out to service your home’s heating and cooling systems and make adjustments.
Experts don’t really agree on whether or not they’re necessary, though. Yes, a regular tune up will ensure that your unit stays balanced and that there are no loose connections, and therefore it’s generally a good idea. However, some of these packages run upwards of $500 a year, which seems like a lot, considering you can get a brand new unit for $2,000 to $3,000. So if you decide you want to go for one, it really pays to shop around for a good deal.
Survey says: It depends on the cost of your package and the what’s included for that fee.
Home Decor Subscription Boxes
Yep, you read that right: home decor subscription boxes! Sites like Art in a Box and GlobeIn will send you hand-crafted art and artisan goods you can use to decorate your home. Both sites use your subscription fee to support artists and artisans, so this is one home decor purchase you can feel good about. And you’ll probably get some stuff you never even thought about buying!
Survey says: This is definitely a vanity buy, but since it supports local artists, why not?
Looking for other ways to make your home life easier? Our partner, FilterEasy, offers a convenient way to get the right size air filters delivered right to your door—look in your HomeBit app for the offer! Hey, with as hard as you work, you deserve it!