Chicken, chips, peas and corn…or…fish, chips, peas and corn. I am still haunted by the repetitive menu that was served nightly while my mother studied her degree. It is not until now, having a two-year-old of my own that I started to appreciate just how challenging it is to juggle work with home life. And while we are living a in time where women can ‘have it all’, data shows that burn-out from doing ‘double duty’ is affecting women at a higher rate than men. The pandemic has only exasperated these numbers, with women more likely to leave the workforce to tend to domestic duties. But in the last 5 years, something fantastic has been evolving in the tech world that has the potential to do away with double duty and even the playing field in our domestic life: Subscription based products and services.
Bear with me while I take a big swing.
According to a study by McKinsey in 2018, the subscription e-commerce industry in the US grew by more than 100 per cent a year, in the 5 years prior and with women making up 60% of the subscribers. While subscription services existed well before e-commerce was even a term, the development of AI has made subscription services much more sophisticated and bespoke.
And these services need not be considered a luxury. In fact, subscription services can help reduce costs for consumers thanks to its direct-to-consumer (D2C) model. In the case of meal delivery services, companies report a reduction in food waste in comparison to supermarkets and pre-portioned meals mean less waste at home. So as long as you aren’t signing up for subscriptions that you don’t need or use and then forgetting to cancel them, a subscription service can be an affordable way to replace the grunt work and reduce the mental load that often leads to burnout.
Here are my favourite subscription services that will transform your life:
Chefgood, a meal delivery service that caters for the whole family
I’ve tried many meal subscription services including frozen meals, make-it-yourself meal kits and freshly made meal delivery services like Chefgood. The reason we’ve stuck with the latter is due to the variety that ready meal delivery services offer and of course the convenience. I also love that they have a chef-curated, weekly new menu, allowing you to reach your whole food and nutritional needs with handmade meals that cater to a variety of dietary requirements.
How I use it: We still cook as a family, but we save it for the weekend when we can take turns cooking in bulk and freezing for the week. We then supplement with Chefgood for dinner and lunch on the busy days when even defrosting is too much. I love that we can cater to our own diets and preferences and try things we don’t usually have time to make. It’s also significantly cheaper than takeaways, and basically no dishes! Win, win and win!
How it works: Customers select from range of meal plans depending on their dietary requirements and goals. Just to name a few, these include weight loss, vegetarian, vegan, low-carb and no-added gluten meal plan options (not suitable for coeliacs). They then select how many meals they would like to receive and on what day. The menu changes weekly meaning you get the benefit of variety without the mental load. Subscriptions start at $57.50 per week for 5 meals, up to $209 per week for 20 meals. With a flexible subscription plan that you can change, pause, or cancel at any time, there’s really no reason not to give them a go!
Threadicated, a delivered-to-your-door personal styling service
Much like cooking, purchasing clothes is another necessary activity and if I’m being honest, it only gets harder and more tiring as you get older. The sheer amount of choice that greets me in every store or online, sends me into overwhelm immediately. I crave the bespoke styling experience that until now, only the elite have been able to acquire. But now thanks to Threadicated, we can all experience what it is like to be styled with the help of a personal stylist. Thanks to their sophisticated AI technology, every box caters to your style, shape and budget.
How it works: Threadicated compares data from your “style profile” with over 100,000 products and 1500 brands, to suggest pieces that are a good match for you. The algorithm essentially does the legwork of eliminating products that are not going to be a good fit for your style, shape and budget, and then your personal stylist will curate a package according to your needs. I love that for each package I can tell the stylist what I’m looking for, and they will do their best to deliver on exactly that. Since lockdown ended, I requested a box with a variety of date night looks. I absolutely adore the deep pink Witchery maxi dress they sent with black suede mules, among other gorgeous items.
TidyMe, a house cleaning subscription app that automatically pairs you with a cleaner
Nothing says Double Duty like having to clean your house after a long week of work. Try as we might, cleaning duties can often be the source of tension in relationships, especially when you throw children into the mix. Soon after my daughter was born I realised I couldn’t keep on top of everything but I didn’t have the headspace to research and contact cleaners in the area. Which is what makes TidyMe so revolutionary as it literally does all the hard work for you, all you have to do is fill out your profile and a cleaner will come to you as required.
How it works: You fill out your profile, selecting the services you require and the size of your home. You also select your preferred day and time and the details on how the cleaner can enter the home. TidyMe then connects you with a verified and background checked cleaner. They come equipped with cleaning products, all you need to provide is a vacuum cleaner and mop. If you need to change the date of your clean or the cleaner is away, TidyMe will automatically assign a new cleaner. You can also rate your regular cleaner and change at any time should you not be happy with the service.
This service is a game changer in the cleaning industry, and I feel compelled to mention they can also take care of your laundry – parents rejoice! Now don’t mind me while I go test out the latest nanny/babysitter subscription service.