Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bento - Frugal Style

I dunno why but I love bringing my lunch to work. Maybe it's knowing what I am eating. LIKING what I am eat. Or, maybe it's the Frugal Person in me! What ever the reason, I love bringing my lunch to work. Having an obsession with containers does not help, at all.

I made a list (yes, I love making lists) of all the foods that would make good lunches and divided them into catagories: Main, fruits, veggies, snacks, desserts. I check this list while making my grocery list for the week. Nothing worse than having nothing to pack in your lunch. It's supposed to be FUN to eat your lunch. Chances are if it's not fun and flavorful you won't bring your lunch very often. We have a microwave at work, so that helps when I need to reheat things. I also have a thermos to keep soups hot. Nothing beats soup and a sandwich in a pinch.

I had a fetish for a bento box. I really wanted one. That turned into wanting a Laptop Lunch Box. What an expense. Yikes! Instead, I opted for Fit and Fresh Containers that were purchased at Marshalls. This one is my favorite. I was worried it wasn't going to hold enough. Trust me when I say it does! Leftovers or a sammie in the bottom, chips and fruit/veggies or crackers and cheese in the smaller containers. Sometimes I take apple sauce, yogurt or cereal and eat it mid morning or late afternoon as a snack. The ice pack will keep my foods cold until lunch. Whatever I don't eat, I put in the fridge at work after lunch if it needs to stay cold. Surprisingly, even those smaller containers hold a good amount of food. Having set sized containers also helps with portion control.

Besides being frugal by bringing my own lunch, I am also big on recycling/reusing. Reusable containers cut down on wasted ziplocks. And when packing my lunch, a homemade cloth napkin and real utensils also get tucked into my tote bag. I am sure my co-workers think I am some crazy nerdy dork.

I have also snagged some other Fit and Fresh containers that I love - especially the salad container. Perfect for those bulkier leftovers that need a lot of room. I also tote around these.

I keep the ice packs in the freezer to they are ready to go anytime. These containers are perfect for those errand days. Pack up some veggies, dip, cheese, pepperoni, etc.. make your own lunchables.

My sister and I pack up containers when we do our Cmas shopping. There is no time to stop for a lengthy meal and no extra funds for splurging on lunches when we are power shopping for the holidays. This is one of our favorite traditions. Summer sauage, spicy mustard, crackers, cheese, carrots, dip, celery, grapes... we swing by Sonic and get a drink during 1/2 price time and nibble our power lunches. Then it's off to more shopping after eating an energizing lunch!

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