23 Oct Sanity Savers
You’re super, but you’re not Superwoman. Try these time-busters to get your life back.
We have found some cool businesses who are helping you get lunch packed, dinner on the table, to work on time, the shopping done and household chores sorted – life hacks for parents!
We all know the big supermarkets deliver, but you like picking up your sourdough from the chic bakery, right? Your Grocer will pick up your favourites from a long list of local suppliers around Melbourne, including Prahran and South Melbourne Markets. Delivery is a flat $7.99, even if you just want milk and bread.
Lettuce Deliver delivers organic fruit and vegetables, meat, bread, milk and much more all over Sydney for $6.60.
Feel like fall-apart roasted lamb shanks, or duck confit with wild mushroom jus? It’s in the freezer. Gourmet Dinner Service sends high-quality frozen meals to your door in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. Many meals are $14.50 and can serve two if you add your own veggies and carbs.
When Sevi Stolica couldn’t find baby food as good as what she made herself for her son Lucas, she founded Baby Bistro, which delivers frozen organic baby and toddler meals across Melbourne. Brown rice porridge (150g) costs $6.50, oven-baked chicken risoni (200g) is $7.95. Every serve is cooked to order.
In Sydney and Melbourne, pick up Little Bud fresh handmade meals for kids aged one and over like Omega Fish Pie for around $5.99 (210g) from independent grocers (including Harris Farm online).
School Lunches – Delivered to School!
Lunch box delivery services are on the rise, sending fresh healthy meals to your child at school. Melbourne’s Classroom Cuisine offers 30 menu items daily, like a Pic(k)nic Box with Ham, or Apple Pieces with Lemon Juice, Brown Sugar and Cinnamon, for $7.95 (two courses) or $9.65 (three courses).
Money no object? You could spend $60-80,000 on a luxury car, or you could spend it on having a private chef for a year. Helen Campbell has worked as a full-time and part-time private chef in Brisbane and Sydney for families with children at High School or University. Helen says, “Generally the work involves shopping, menu planning, cooking the meals, and often serving and cleaning up. Most of my work has been cooking family meals during the week.”
Sharing the ride to work can save you the hassle and cost of running a second car. Many poolers take turns driving, but you don’t need a car to pool – drivers exchange a lift to the carless for cash or petrol vouchers. Two thirds of the 3,000 plus members of the Community Carpooling Association are women. “Females like travelling with females,” said the association’s Gillian Edwards. Its site lists two government-supported Sydney services, including Sydney Carpool, and suggests precautions for safe ride sharing.
Need a pair of hands to assemble that IKEA bookshelf today? Want someone to line up in the ticket queue tomorrow? Or to clean-up after your kids’ party this afternoon? Post your job on Airtasker, check out the reviews of the workers who offer to do it, and assign the job to a worker you like. Sign up is free to you, and every worker is ID checked and insured for public liability. A human customer-support team provides backup if you need it. Job turnaround is as fast as a couple of hours.
You’ve volunteered to be school fête convenor, but don’t know how to send out the bulk e-newsletter. What you need is a VA, or Virtual Assistant. They can manage your inbox remotely, mail merge letters, do a spreadsheet of the takings from your school sausage sizzle and more. Rates are about $35 an hour, slightly more for complex tasks.
When Melbourne nurse Rebecca Stone couldn’t find guidance on the challenges of life with a newborn, she founded maternity concierge Parent Prep. Along with putting you in touch with pregnancy and infant complementary healthcare providers, she takes you shopping (in store or via Skype) for baby products, and even plans, designs and delivers your nursery. Her services cost $55 an hour by email or phone, or $95 in store or in home in Melbourne.
Layla Roberts of Concierge Connections ‘clones’ working mothers. Her clients all over Sydney (and even around the world) rely on her to arrange baby showers or babymoons, organise concert tickets, restaurant bookings and reliable babysitters for date nights. A one-hour service is $65. Layla says, “One of the more unusual things we have been asked to find is pets (like lizards or dogs) that will get on with young children. I am even working on a single mum’s request to find her a husband!”
Mobile Beauty Salons
Is an hour at the salon out of reach with your toddler on hand? Bring the salon to you with a mobile beauty therapist. Sydney Mobile Therapies brings facials, footbaths and more to your door for a minimum one-hour callout, with prices from around $90. About 70 percent of its massage customers are pregnant women or new mums, says owner Yiota Triantafyllou. One mums’ group booked a pamper party to see to all of their waxing, skincare and massage needs in one go.
Mobile Lice Patrol
When Melbourne mother-of-five Antoinette Aparo was tearing her hair out trying to rid her daughters’ hair of head lice, she hit upon a 30-minute dehydration treatment that kills lice in one go, including the new ‘super lice’. Now her business makes home visits all over Melbourne with her AirAllé service (previously known as LouseBuster), or you can visit her in her Epping (VIC) salon. It only takes one treatment, with a guaranteed result. The treatment costs $130, plus $15-60 call-out.
Mobile Vet Visits
Chasing the cat up a tree to cage it for the vet visit is a task you could do without, so instead bring the vet to you. Melbourne Mobile Vet makes house calls to many suburbs for sick or injured pets, vaccinations, microchipping, worming, behavioural advice and more. Dr Craig Miller says, “New mothers find it particularly helpful.” A house call is $95.
Wouldn’t it be nice to stick a holiday’s laundry in a bag and have it picked up, washed and sent home? Mobile drycleaners and launderers offer free pick-up and next-day delivery. For example, Master Dry Cleaners offers a twice-weekly drive-by service in many Melbourne suburbs for dry cleaning, bag wash, ironing, repairs, bed linen, curtains and even pillow refreshes. Just leave your items in a personalised bag on your porch and they’ll swing by to collect them, no booking needed.
Frozen screen? Transferring data to a new laptop? Wiped your photo archive by mistake? Geeks2u send a computer technician to your home and they also repair TVs and mobile phones, rates vary according to location.
Mobile mechanics like Lube Mobile do away with catching buses while the car’s in for service. They offer a 1-year/20,000km warranty on their work, which includes logbook and scheduled services, battery replacements and repairs. Rates are charged hourly in 15-minute increments. If you don’t know what’s wrong, their $124.80 repair call-out gives you 15 minutes of a technician’s time to assess the problem. You can get an indicative quote online, and an itemised quote before the technician starts work.
Words by Natalie Ritchie