Thursday, September 10, 2009

Laptop Lunches

Two summers ago while we joined my husband at a conference in Lake Tahoe, I came across the Laptop Lunch System in a gift shop. And, boy did I want one...and I don't even pack a lunch! Basically, its an American-style bento box that is designed to help families pack healthy, environmentally-friendly lunches for when they're on the go. They're a system of reusuable plastic boxes that fit together in various configurations (BPA, phthalates & lead free, of course). When I saw them at the store, I believe that it was about $40 for the bento box with containers and utensils, beverage container, a carrying case and a user's guide with recipes. I just couldn't justify spending that much money on a lunchbox. But, I was intrigued and thought that packing a lunch could actually be fun with such a cool box!

Well, a few weeks ago, I decided that I would indeed start packing a lunch every day for my hardworking teacher husband. He already had a lunchbox (metal Batman if you must know) but he didn't use it because none of the containers we had actually fit inside of it. On the rare occasions that I did pack a lunch for him, it was always a challenge to find a container that would fit what I was feeding him, that wouldn't leak and that was easy for him to cart around. For some reason, I thought about those Laptop Lunch boxes and decided to look into them again. To my happy surprise, you don't have to buy the whole system! The manufacturer now sells just parts of the system.

Specifically, they sell "Bento Buddies" - a set of 4 lidded boxes that are a companion to the newest version of the system (2.0) for $12.99. It includes:
  • extra large container (6 x 5 x 2 inches)
  • large container (4.75 x 3.12 x 2 inches)
  • medium container (3.12 x 2.5 x 2 inches)
  • small dip container (2 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches)
After I found an online coupon at RetailMeNot, I decided to "splurge" and buy some boxes. The boxes are high-quality, convenient and allow me to fit more types of food in my husband's lunchbox. Plus, I kinda like packing a morning snack and his lunch in the cute boxes. I figure that they're worth the money because:
  • I'm more motivated to pack a lunch - thus keeping my husband from eating out.
  • They're high-quality so they should last quite awhile.
  • I won't be spending money on things like plastic baggies or other disposable packaging.
  • I can actually fit a snack AND lunch in his box. He gets a greater variety of food as well as a greater amount.
An extra bonus is that Laptop Lunches puts out a sample online lunch menu with ideas of how you can use your Laptop Lunch System. It's great for inspiring some new lunchbox ideas. You can see the menus here.

For more info on packing lunches, visit LifeAsMom for links to other "Lunchbox Love" ideas.


FishMama said...

You rock, as always. How do you keep it cold? Do you pack the little boxes in his Batman box or did you buy the bigger laptop box?

Janel said...

I put the little boxes inside his Batman box. I bought a couple of the Bento Buddies so I'm able to do different configurations and I'll have some for the girls to use. (For my sanity, I think I'll be packing snacks for the ride home after preschool.) The Extra Large container is rather large and takes up about half the box, but it is great for a big salad with fixings. (He had taco salad today with chicken and beans.)

Brett has a small fridge at school that he stores it in. However, if you use the actual system, the carrying case is insulated and I believe that it fits an ice pack as well.