Five Free Apps That Are Like Having An Extra Set Of Hands

Take care of your groceries, birthday cards, laundry, and more with a few quick taps.

You haven’t figured out a way to clone yourself yet, unfortunately. But each of these apps can kinda sorta make it seem like you’re in two places at once.


1. No Time to Grocery Shop?

Instacart (Android, iOS) is worth a try. The service is available in 15 cities and counting, letting you buy groceries from local chains such as Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco, and several others. You can order multiple items from multiple stores at once, with delivery charges starting at $4 and delivery times as quick as an hour.

2. Laundry Piling Up?

Take a look at Washio (Android, iOS). With a few taps, someone will come and pick up your dirty duds, dry-clean them, and have them back to you within 24 hours. There are wash-and-fold services available as well, and prices are set at market rates. There are six cities currently available, with more being added as the app gains steam.

3. Need a Birthday Card?

You can handwrite one with Inkly (Android, iOS). Lay some of your chicken-scratch down on an ordinary piece of paper, use your phone’s camera to scan it, and choose from thousands of card designs. Your recipient will get a handwritten card, all without you having to stand awkwardly in the card aisle at CVS for 20 minutes. Cards cost $4 a pop; shipping starts at 89 cents. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can customize your card designs and add your own photos.

4. Too Tired to Make Dinner?

Fire up Eat24 (Android, iOS). The food-ordering service, boasting more than 20,000 restaurants in 1,500 cities, pulls in Yelp reviews so you can avoid salmonella. You can add your credit card by taking a quick photo of it and track your food on a map as it makes its way to you. If you’re a creature of habit, there’s even one-tap reordering from Android Wear smartwatches.

5. Hate Running Errands in General?

Google Express (Android, iOS) might be right up your alley. Tapping into top stores like Target, Walgreens, Toys R Us, and several others, the app lets you quickly round up your essentials and have them delivered to you the same day for $5. All items are priced the same as they are in stores, so the only things you’re really missing out on are driving around, fighting for a parking spot, waiting in line, and then driving back home. The service is available in seven cities, with more on the way.