I've seen bento lunches before but they never really excited me. This year hubby started packing a lunch mid spring. Some days i pack it, some days he packs it and once a week he buys his lunch. Packing a lunch gets pretty boring after awhile! When I ran across Lunch In a Box yesterday I was immediately hooked. Food looks delicious packed that way.
Unfortunately I was pretty sure we would be unable to buy a bento box locally. Instead we purchased 2 rubbermaid containers. They were about $5.50 each. And while quite functional they are not as cute as bento containers. Does being frugal mean we don't buy the cute containers? No, not for us. Hubby and I think its worth it to fork out a little extra $ for beauty and function. Hubby bought a Tiffin box (not a bento, its a traditional Indian lunch container) for $9.99. I bought a stacked bento on ebay for $8.99. That is 4 'bento' containers and we're only getting started on this bento obsession! I've seen the bento boxes range from $20-$75! We've spent about $30 on 4.
Today we packed a lunch to go sit in a park. Something we very rarely do. Had we packed our typical lunch it would have been turkey sandwiches on wheat bread, Cheetos, carrots and a few Oreos. Instead we had fresh mango, fresh strawberries, fresh blue berries, a cucumber salad from lunch in a box's recipes, turkey and cheddar roll ups wrapped in lettuce with dipping sauce, a small portion (far smaller then a zip lock baggy portion) of gold fish, and a small portion of yogurt covered almonds. It was yummy, healthy and fun.
Here is today's lunch.
I already had the silicone cups and the little sauce container. I am going to buy a bento specific sauce container as this one was much to large. I took a yellow and white fabric we already owned cut it with pinking sheers to be large enough to use as a Furoshiki. It held the bento boxes very nicely! I have a few bento accessories on the way and a few things I've bought from the dollar store to use as well. I'd like to dabble in the cute food as well as functional healthy food, while still keeping everything as frugal as possible. Its going to be a challenge since bento accessories and boxes are not available locally, and for sure will not be showing up at garage sales or thrift stores. That just makes it all the more interesting of a challenge!