We’re all busy – between work, school, family, friends, pets, exercising, errands… whew.
Some days the to-do list can seem as if it’s never-ending and the last thing in the world you want to do at the end of the day is stand in line at the grocery store – even if the only thing left in your pantry is a pack of instant noodles that’s been hiding in there for at least three years. Luckily, we live in a world with technology that allows the ability to balance your priorities, so that you can get dinner on the table without having to waste precious time that could be spent instead with your family or without having to press pause on your latest binge-watching obsession.
We asked our tech experts for their favorite tools to help balance the need for food and the need for time to unwind.
Turn your smart home device into a lean, mean grocery shopping machine.
With smart home device manufacturers partnering with major grocery retailers, voice shopping and two-hour delivery are quickly becoming the new norm. For example, using your Amazon Echo voice assistant, in certain cities you can now order everyday essentials from Prime Now and have them delivered to your doorstep within hours (if you have an Amazon Prime membership, that is). “Alexa, please order dark chocolate gelato from Prime Now,” should be a common phrase uttered, because sometimes gelato for dinner is completely acceptable.
Take advantage of apps that provide grocery deliveries and click-and-collect.
The number of U.S. households obtaining their groceries through digital means has increased significantly in recent years, thanks to both delivery options and click-and-collect services. Using apps such as Shipt or Instacart, users can pay a monthly fee or a per order fee to have someone else do all the shopping, leaving you to never have to step foot in the grocery store, and have all of your items brought straight to your home. You can schedule your delivery for as quickly as one hour after the time you place your order or schedule it for whenever is most convenient for you.
In addition to delivery options, many retailers are now also offering click-and-collect, where you visit their website or app right from your computer or smartphone to pick out what items you need, place the order, and then just roll up to the front of the store in your vehicle where someone will bring your order out to you. Now, if they would just offer the option to come home with you and cook up the ingredients, you’d have it made.
Don’t feel like cooking at all? There’s a smart solution.
Your smart devices can also take care of having food from local eateries sent to your doorstep. Apps like Postmates, Grubhub and UberEats offer fast deliveries from your favorite restaurants, and even keep track of your past orders so you can quickly do a reorder when you’re craving chicken fried rice yet again a week later.
If you have the right skills enabled on your smart home device, even they can help to order a pizza without lifting a finger.
Keep an eye on your food deliveries with a Wi-Fi-enabled video doorbell.
Always know who’s knocking on your door by using a smart doorbell camera. There are now plenty of options on the market, with many features to choose from to best fit your home and needs. Some grocery delivery services don’t require that you be home to receive your order, so you can also have them placed in a spot within your camera’s viewing range so you can make sure they’re safe until you arrive.