A Parent's Guide to Simplifying Life With Tech

Written by: Christa Reed

I get it. You're busy. Holiday cards barely made it out by New Years and you're at least four loads of laundry behind. Here are my top five tech helpers that every Chicago parents needs to know about.


No more running out to the store for the fifth time in a week because you forgot an ingredient. Instacart is a personal shopping service that will go to seven local stores (Mariano’s, Whole Foods,  Trader Joe’s, and Costco to name a few) and can arrive at your doorstep in less than an hour. One hour delivery is $5.99, two hour is $3.99. You can also purchase a $99 annual Instacart Express membership and get free delivery on any order over $35. You may never go to the grocery store again. If the store is out of the item you requested you can set up a preferred replacement in your account or have your shopper call you with suggestions. Cuts down on impulse buying and forget have kids begging for candy at check out. Game changer. Click the hyperlink above to get $10 off and your first delivery for free!

Task Rabbit

Ever wonder what it’s like to have a personal assistant? No need to wonder anymore with Task Rabbit, a site that helps you find the perfect person to help you with, well…almost anything. Need someone to assemble that Ikea bookshelf? Done.  Are those boxes from your move a month ago still not unpacking themselves? No problem. You can hire a task rabbit to even fix that drippy faucet or squeaky door. They make it so easy. You post your job, you choose a tasker and it’s done. You can even pay directly through the site. You can see the tasker’s review and know that the company has fully vetted them. Use promo code: "WELCOMETR" for $15 off your first task!


Hate running stuff to FedEx, UPS or the post office for returns. Shipbob does exactly that. All you do is open the app, take a photo of what you need to ship (so they know whether to bring a car or a bike), schedule a pickup and a “ship captain” will arrive at your door in 30 mins. This locally run company will then pick up and package your item for $5 and then ship it the most affordable way possible. NPN members get an exclusive discount - $15 off shipping (first time only)! Check the our Parent Perks section for the ios or web promo codes.

Urban Sitter

Probably our favorite bay area start ups to come to the Windy City.  Sync this platform with your facebook account and see what babysitters your friends have used and recommend.  Each sitter is vetted, background checked and has tons of reviews from other families that may even live next door. You can find a date night sitter, a full time nanny or anything in between. You can interview by phone, in-person, via facetime, etc. Whatever works for you. Don’t forget to look for the “Trusted by NPN Badge". Get $15 off your first booking by clicking the hyperlink above to get started. 

Door Dash

Also a San Francisco start up, brand new to the city (Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Ukie Village) delivers yummy food from restaurants that may otherwise not deliver. Been dying to try Cheesie’s Pub & Grub but could never find a place to park on Belmont? Craving Kuma’s but it’s dinner time and there’s no way your kid can wait 2 hours for a table? No problem. Use promo code "NPN3" now through Sun, Feb 1, 2015 to get your first delivery free or $3 off if you have already used the service. 

I've tried all of these services personally and they are all super helpful for the busiest of parents. Stay tuned for my favorite local apps! Got any that I forgot? What tech do you use to simplify life?

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 3:39 PM