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making life a little easier…

Oh Joy Kitchen

Oh Joy Kitchen

You guys know how I talked about not doing everything in this post? Since making dinner from scratch is one of those things that I can't always do (and stresses me to think about), I've found a few great dinner/food options that have made my life so much easier lately that I had to share with you…

1. There are lots of places that offer food take-out delivery. But when you just need lunch or dinner right now, this new DoorDash app is the most efficient one I've ever used. As soon as you load it based on your address, it tells you what restaurants you can have meals delivered from and the approximate time it would take. And the best part is it updates you every step of the way with when the order is placed, picked up and on the way to you. It's super accurate which I've never been able to say about any other service like this. I've used it way more times this week than I'd like to admit, but it's been so helpful when I'm home alone with both kids and can't manage to make dinner on my own (or when I want to treat my employees to milkshakes for an afternoon treat). It's kinda like the Uber for take-out delivery.

2. Instacart offers delivery from your favorite local grocery stores. It's sort of like Amazon Fresh but there are more options since someone is actually going to your local store (like Whole Foods) and picking out what you want. While I actually love grocery shopping (and can find it relaxing), it's not relaxing when you have to bring two kids with you. So I cut myself some slack and have groceries delivered when I don't have time to go myself. And, instead of loading everyone up in the car to go buy food, I can spend time with them doing way funner things and pay a small delivery fee for the groceries to come to me. 

3. Din is a newish food delivery service that sends you all the ingredients needed to make restaurant-inspired, home-cooked meals. Bob and I really want to cook more (we really do). I have tried a bunch of these types of services before. But other ones take almost an hour to make a meal, and these days with our busy jobs and schedules, we need to be able to make something within 30 mins or less. With Din, many of the components are pre-prepped for you—that way you really can make the whole meal from start to finish in 20-30 minutes. (They are only available for delivery in California and Nevada right now, but I'm guessing more states will become available as they grow).

And yes, these things do cost a little more money, but for me they're worth the few extra bucks for a delivery fee or service charge to gain that extra time at home with my kids. Modern conveniences like this have helped me to worry less about everything I need to do and be more present in the moment with my family.

Have you guys found any other cool apps or things like this that make your life a little easier?

{Photo of Oh Joy kitchen by Zeke Ruelas} 


  1. I heard this comment the other day and its so true. “When you’re young, you spend a lot of time to save a little money. When you’re older, you spend a little money to save some time.” Its all about shifting your priorities as time and circumstances change. Thanks for the great tips!

  2. im tech challenged. but my quick meal is rice a roni. seriously quick. i throw in shrimp (frozen peeled) and maybe some chopped zucchini or just spinach right out of the bag the last 5 mins. i think thats faster than any app could be (i dont know because i have never done an app and have a dumbphone i love).

  3. A local grocery store recently starting delivering groceries as well. For only 4.95 + tip, it’s a pretty good deal in my opinion. As a college student, I don’t mind going to the store, but I have friends from out of state who do not have a car with them at college, and it’s super simple for them or their parents to just order their groceries and have them delivered.

  4. love love love instacart! i use pepperplate to save online recipes that i like. it’s a great webservice with an app for both the iphone and ipad.

  5. Instacart is AWESOME! We are trying to tighten our budget and stop eating out as much. It adds up quickly! It’s so hard to make a meal when you are exhausted. I’m trying to compile a list of things to have on hand so I can make quick meals. My son ends up eating a lot of chicken breast and broccoli because it’s so quick and easy, but boy does it get boring!

  6. Thank you so much for including Instacart, we are huge fans of yours here at our HQ, so this post made our day! So pleased that we are able to help you save time so that you can spend more time doing things you love.

  7. Joy, I’m having a total fangirl moment because I’ve been reading your blog for *years* and am so excited to see you mention DoorDash (my husband works there)! Thrilled to hear you’ve had a good experience. 🙂

  8. Hey Patti!
    Thank you! And that’s awesome! I am seriously obsessed with it. I may have used it more than 5 times in the last couple weeks 😉

  9. Thanks for the DoorDash recommendation! Just used them to delivery ramen! It was awesome. Bonus is Starbucks/coffee bean delivery! For someone with a newborn in the house this may be a godsend!

  10. thanks for the recs! we love google express, postmates (like door dash) and blue apron (like din). din sounds promising with the 20-30 min total cook time. will have to try that. thanks for the recs!

  11. Instacart is a life saver! Thanks for the other recommendations! I’m in Chicago and I own a prepared meal delivery service …not going to lie, one of the best parts is that I always have a stocked fridge to come home to after a day in the kitchen!


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