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The Great Lunch Box Search

Reuseable Lunch BoxI have been looking for a new lunch box.   While this might seem like a simple task I have chosen to make it into a much bigger deal than it needs to be.  In my own defense choosing a new lunch box is quite a commitment.  This is, after all, something I will be using on an almost daily basis.  I have been searching based on the following criteria:

  1. Size- I like to pack enough to get me to supper.  I also use glass Pyrex containers that are great for heating things up, but take up a lot of space.
  2. Orientation- I want my food to stay upright when I am carrying it…my current lunch box (donated to me by udandi after a lunch box disaster that, unfortunately, my previous lunch box did not survive) turns my food on its side.  After leaving a soupy trail on my way into work a few times I have learned to carry it flat instead of by the handle.
  3. Appearance- It must be pretty.  Each time I look at it I want to be proud that it is my lunchbox.
  4. Price- Part of the packing appeal is saving $$ so I can’t spend a ton.

Rachel Ray has some neat lunch boxes shaped like tomatoes and other veggies, but the size just won’t cut it for my lunches.

I really like the sizes and designs of the choices at Thirty-One Gifts udandi’s lunch box is from this company and it is great!

I also like the options from Target.  I recently thought my search was over when I found a Mario Batali Gigli lunch tote, but the one I liked the best is out of stock.

I have even considered making my own.  Elizabeth Green has directions for a lunch box made from a vintage pillowcase, which is really cute.  Her instructions include lots of great pictures and are very detailed but I still think it might be a little over my head sewing wise.

So the search continues…any other critera I should consider or better yet any great suggestions that could help me end my search?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Shannan January 5, 2011, 1:19 pm

    You’re timing with this post could not be more perfect. I started packing this week and want to find something better than what I am currently using, a reusable shopping bag.

    Thanks for the ideas!

  • FM January 5, 2011, 2:17 pm

    Shannan, I occasionally use the clear plastic bags from the Kroger deli when my containers won’t all fit in OK for Now Bag II. I always wonder if people are taking peaks at my lunch in the staff frig when I pack in those…I guess it is just another great way to pass around lunch ideas.

    I will keep you posted on my search! If you find one that you love take a pic and share it with us on the Lunch It, Punch It Facebook page in the “Lunch Bags & Boxes” album. I would love to see what you choose!

  • LJ January 5, 2011, 2:40 pm

    I just got a Thirty-One lunch bag and I love it! I use the smaller size and it does a nice job and keeping things upright while traveling to and from work.

    • Andi January 5, 2011, 2:59 pm

      LJ, Red Veggie bag is a Thirty-One and I love it for the same reasons you mention (maybe FM will come to the darkside of at-home party lunch bags?!). Actually, I’m impressed it has lasted over a year with no signs of wear.

      • FM January 6, 2011, 7:09 pm

        I really like the size and shape of udandi’s bag. I will have to take some measurements and compare them to some really cute lunch totes I have been checking out on Etsy.

        A few of my favorites are from Carried Away Bags, The Pattypan Shop, and Needful Wishes

  • Karen January 7, 2011, 10:54 pm

    In case you are interested, the thirty-one lunch bags are on sale this month: $10 for the bag with $1.50 monogram (usually $14ish for the bag and $6 for the monogram). There is also a smaller size lunch bag, but I love my regular sized one.

    • FM January 8, 2011, 1:50 pm

      Thanks for the tip Karen!

  • emzyv January 11, 2011, 7:51 pm

    I started looking for lunch bag today too! And I totally understand what you mean about “making a bigger deal out of it” because I’ve been googling nonstop trying to find a good one! Good luck!

    • Karen January 11, 2011, 9:15 pm

      I’m bringing info on the thirty-one lunch bags to work.

      • FM January 12, 2011, 10:44 am

        Emzy, let me know what you find…also take a look at the links I replyed to LJ & Andi with from Etsy. Super cute! I think you might be able to find a pattern that you like!

  • Ana January 11, 2011, 8:09 pm

    I cant’ open the Elizabeth Green link. Can you post it again, please?

    • FM January 12, 2011, 10:13 am

      Ana, sorry about that I just updated the link! It may take a minute to open because it is a fairly large pdf. If you end up making one let me know how it turns out and post some pics on the Lunch It, Punch It Facebook page in the “Lunch Bags & Boxes” album!

  • turbi January 12, 2011, 2:44 am

    OMG, I thought I was the only one with the “perfect lunch bag” syndrome! I get teased about it from my family for being the pickiest lunch bag owner. I favor the Thermos 6 can duffle because it holds everything and nothing tips.

    I usually carry a morning snack, lunch and an evening snack. It’s taken me years to find it. When I did, I bought TWO just in case somethng happens to lunch bag number one.

    • FM January 12, 2011, 10:27 am

      I love that you bought two when you found the perfect bag…I could totally see me doing something like that! A lady I work with purchased the Thermos 6 can duffle from Target and I really like the size and design. Unfortunately, when I went the selection was really small and I couldn’t fall in love with the patterns they had available…so the search continues 😉

  • KDumas January 12, 2011, 7:34 am

    I use Lunchsense, a green company out of Oregon. it comes with a variety of Lock-n-Lock containers. The lunch box comes in several sizes and colors and also converts into a place to sit easily. Here is the website: http://www.lunchsense.com/

    • FM January 12, 2011, 10:40 am

      This is a really neat site! I love that the lunch boxes open all the way up, are machine washable, and are BPA free and lead free. Even more I love that under company origins they explain what they, like me, “began our quest for ‘The Perfect Lunchbox'” When they couldn’t find one that met all of their criteria they invented their own…maybe something I should consider!

  • Julie January 12, 2011, 8:12 am

    One word: BENTO!

    There are lots of cool lunch boxes out there. I like small bento boxes (http://www.allthingsforsale.com/104-bento-box-bento-box). You can also find some on ebay, or if you live in an area with a discount Asian store, you might be able to find some super cheap there.

    I’ve always liked the Laptop Lunches, but they tend to be a little pricey for my budget.

    • FM January 12, 2011, 11:43 am

      Julie, I have been running into Bento lunch boxes and packing tips everywhere. I love the idea of packing a visually appealing lunch! I recently signed up for the Laptop Lunches newsletter and enjoyed looking through the December issue. For anyone who signs up don’t forget to click on the link at the bottom of the email “Enjoy the rest of this newsletter at http://www.laptoplunches.com/current-newsletter.php” I overlooked it the first time I looked at the message and almost missed out on more great recipes and tips!

  • charissa January 12, 2011, 11:59 am

    hello, I also love my pyrex containers :). I use a top-handled tea set basket that I found at a thrift store for $2. It’s super cute and actually inspires me to pack a lunch because it makes everyday a picnic ^^

    it’s sorta like this:
    http://www.picnic-basket.com/assets/images/large/PSBPSB-211-T4TWO-tea-set-inset.jpg

    • FM January 13, 2011, 1:25 pm

      What a great find! That is exactly the type of lunch box that makes you smile each time you pack. I love it!

      • lin January 13, 2011, 7:29 pm

        Charissa,
        That looks like it makes a great lunchbox. Even better getting it at the thrift store.

  • susanne January 12, 2011, 2:37 pm

    Oooh. Love this post.

    Please check out American made organic cotton Hero Bags lunch bags!
    Eco-modern and quality made reusable lunch bag that fits lots of containers, have a zipper top and are machine washable and don’t hold smells – Made in the USA out of organic cotton grown in USA.
    http://www.herobags.com/lunchbags.html

    • Andi January 12, 2011, 9:08 pm

      susanne, cute shop! If you had one that was BLT-inspired I’d be all over it (see my introductory post)!

      • FM January 13, 2011, 1:38 pm

        Andi the “Pork Lunch Bag” is pretty close 😉 This is a great site…I am really considering the “All Star Lunch Bag” is in my top 5 for sure!!

        • Andi January 16, 2011, 1:33 pm

          I saw that. it’s perfect for @adorkandhispork

  • emzyv January 14, 2011, 12:49 pm

    I found one on Etsy that I really liked so I just ordered it today! So excited!!

    • FM January 14, 2011, 6:18 pm

      Oh I can’t wait to see it!

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