Little housekeeping fairy tired of home choresThere comes a point in nearly every successful entrepreneur’s life when you realize time is the more valuable commodity – the most valuable, actually. So when I say, “Give yourself a break,” what I really mean is: Get the help you need around the house.

Since the first time I moved out on my own I’ve maintained domestic assistance – a housekeeper, cleaning lady, personal assistant, etc. I’ve said it before and I’ll stand by it: there are people out there who enjoy doing these jobs; it’s their calling, it’s not mine. While I love living in a clean and organized home environment, I abhor cleaning. While I love cooking, I loathe grocery shopping. So what I learned was that the house stayed dirty and we had no groceries, and I felt bad about it until I made the decision to get the help I needed and give myself a break.

As of now I have fresh organic produce delivered on Mondays, organic raw milk delivered on Wednesdays, Amazon set up to deliver household needs monthly (contact solution and other toiletries, toilet paper, paper towels, cat food and litter, dog food, cleaning supplies, etc.), and now dinner comes delivered on Monday, Wednesday or Friday – depending upon the supplier.

The latest time-saving break I’ve discovered is having dinner delivered – and not local Chinese takeout either. A few years ago we tried the prefab jobs that you heat to eat. We were totally underwhelmed by them. This new incarnation of fresh, locally-sourced produce, protein and accessories is making my life so much easier. No grocery store. No leftovers. And much healthier options than late-night runs through the drive-thru.

In the last month, I have tried Plated, Blue Apron, and Hello Fresh. I have to say each one has its own merits.  Of all the meals we’ve tried, only one has been a disappointment, and that had more to do with our own preferences than on the quality or execution of the meal.

I’ve been averaging one delivery from two of the options weekly, which provides Mr. Rinaldi and I with 6 dinners out of 7 nights per week. At an average of 30 minutes prep time for each meal, I’m not really saving time here. Where I am saving time, though, is not having to read cookbooks, create menus, review my pantry, make a list, go grocery shopping, put the extraneous stuff I bought away (the extra box of crackers and great, now we have four jars of mayonnaise… I’ll never use it all up), pack up leftovers and try to find space in the fridge for them. For this I am thrilled!

Each box comes delivered to my doorstep, packed impeccably and filled with everything I need to make a meal (other than pots and pans, salt and pepper, water and cooking oil typically). We’re getting to try recipes that are expanding our palates and yet are healthy enough not to be expanding our waistlines. At an average cost of about $120 per week for 6 dinners, we’ve also cut our meal expenses by two thirds in the last 30 days (one dinner out for Mr. Rinaldi and I can average about $60).

So the next time you start thinking about what you can do to save you money, think more about what you can do to save you time. The money often follows.

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