Convenience services allowing students to save time, eat well


CW / Joe Will Field

Jimmy Conroy, Contributing Writer

This fall may have served as a wake-up call for incoming students of any classification: the return to Tuscaloosa brings added responsibilities that come with living on your own. Students have to grapple with cooking, cleaning and laundry – tasks that many took for granted as they were home for the summer. 

With most things available at the click of a button, modern students have an advantage that past generations of the Crimson Tide couldn’t utilize. Convenience services allow students to lift some of these responsibilities off their shoulders. 


Bama Laundry, a Tide detergent-sponsored laundry service for Alabama students, offers plans for those who wish to spend their time doing things other than washing clothes. With a variety of laundry packages ranging from 10 to 30 pounds of laundry to be cleaned per week, the service promises to save students 80 hours a year – time that could otherwise be put toward studying or relaxing with friends. 

“One of the good things about Tide was that it saved about 2-3 hours per week. I usually used that time to study, do some homework, or just hang out instead of focusing on my laundry,” said Kevin Dwyer, a junior financial planning major who used the service during his freshman year in the Presidential Village Residential Community.

At $99 per month, it simplifies a process that could otherwise take a few hours. Students bring their bag of laundry outside their residence halls to marked trucks. Bama Laundry then washes and folds the laundry and returns it to campus. There is even a dry-cleaning option for those wishing to clean clothes that are not meant for washing machines.

Dwyer recounted a time in his freshman year where he had to juggle attending a wedding with multiple tests that week.

“I literally just dropped off my suit and button-down at the Tide truck and didn’t think about it for the rest of the week,” Dwyer said. “I was able to focus all my energy on passing these tests instead of worrying about finding a laundromat in town.”


With the approximately 80 extra hours Bama Laundry promises to save those who use their service, students have time to put more effort into cooking and eating healthy. HelloFresh offers meal-kit delivery that is packed with pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step instructions on how to cook the meals. The service provides simple, healthy meals that serve as a better and more inexpensive option to the traditional grocery shopping trip. 

Reilly Kouba, a junior hospitality and management major who prefers to cook instead of order out, swears by HelloFresh. 

“HelloFresh was portioned out perfectly so you wouldn’t be overeating like people normally would,” Kouba said. “It was convenient because I didn’t have to grocery shop for as much food as I normally would. You would just sign up online and pick any day you would want your meal to come and how many servings you wanted for that week.”

Kouba also highlighted the convenience of HelloFresh being delivered to her doorstep.

“I don’t have a car on campus and find it both expensive and difficult to walk to Publix to buy groceries,” Kouba said.  “I spent roughly $50 per week on HelloFresh, much cheaper than what I would spend at Publix for less food.” ]

She also felt that HelloFresh went beyond just providing her with healthy, well-portioned meals.

“I felt like I learned how to cook through using the step-by-step instructions,” she said. “I learned new recipes, discovered spices and seasonings I never knew before, and overall opened my mind up to foods I had written off before.”

Beyond being fed, Kouba mentioned that one of the best parts of utilizing HelloFresh was being able to experiment in the kitchen with her roommates. 

“My roommates and I really enjoyed making the recipes together,” Kouba said. “We would turn on the Italian music, pour ourselves a glass of wine, and pretend to be real chefs. What our final product turned out to be wasn’t that far off from something a real chef would make.”

Kouba said the bruschetta chicken with a side of asparagus was the favorite meal amongst her and her roommates.

“For the first time in my life, I could say I knew how to make something other than mac and cheese and ramen,” Kouba said.


For students who aren’t quite ready to make the jump to cooking, JoyRun proves to be helpful in a pinch. The service is used for group deliveries in the community. Anything from coffee to burgers to batteries can be picked up and delivered by a “runner.” Nathan Dailey, a junior majoring in biology, relies on the service when he is feeling under the weather.

“Every time that I am sick, I get on the JoyRun app and order medicine to be picked up from CVS,” Dailey said. “I don’t have a car and if I’m not feeling well, I don’t have the energy to walk to the store, so JoyRun has essentially saved my life. It brings everything I need to get better to my front door and I really appreciate the service.”

JoyRun is guaranteed to be there for students when they need it the most, from sickness remedies to late-night caffeine fixes.

“There have also been multiple times where I am studying at the library and start to lose motivation and need something to get me back on track,” he said. “That’s usually when I use JoyRun to order a snack or an energy drink. JoyRun gets me through finals week.”

The convenience does come with a price. However, the delivery fees are relatively affordable for some students.

“I obviously would rather not have to pay the delivery charges, but the service comes in handy and saves me the trouble from going to the store,” Dailey said.

College can be very stressful, so having the convenience of these services may be just what students need to keep their school-life balance.