Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Environmentalism and Frugality Meet in the Lunch Box

Like any frugalites worth the title, we wash out our plastic baggies after we use them so we can reuse them again. However, even with this method we can't use them more than three or four times without them popping leaks.

What has worked for me is using plastic containers instead of baggies whenever possible. The containers are marketed as disposable so they're fairly inexpensive, but I've found them to be extremely durable. I've had many of my containers for years and they're holding up just fine even though I put them in the dishwasher and straight from the fridge to the microwave.

They have worked especially well in our lunches. Again, like most frugalites, we pack our own lunches for work. We use the plastic containers for sandwiches and snacks (like craisins), a stainless steel bottle for water, and of course fruit comes in its own packaging. Using all reusable containers we have cut way down on our baggie usage and created virtually trash-free lunches. I love it when environmentalism and frugality meet.


  1. great tips! I'm currently trying to cut down on using baggies as much as possible and train my kids to pack their lunches with plastic containers. They are great at using sandwich keepers (from tupperware) for their sandwiches but the other stuff (fruit, cookies, etc.) I'm working on. :)

  2. We can only wash the baggies a few times too. Also- I got the evolve baggies- that use less plastic- but they are really only good for one use. So not a good choice.

    We use a lot of plastic containers too- but I am trying to get us switched over to glass ones. Slowly buying glass when they are on clearance and such. I really don't think you are supposed to microwave in them- chemicals and stuff. You might want to look into it . . .

  3. love when the two merge!

    Like Taryn said, you want to get out of the habit of microwaving plastic. It's a tough transition, I'll admit. But I imagine you mentioned a metal water bottle as opposed to something like a nalgine because of BPA. Microwaving plastic jumpstarts the release of toxins.

    Yeah for using and using and using... that is, using the exact same item instead of something new!

  4. I LOVE when frugality and enviro are together! It's a little high for me :)

    When I packed my husband a lunch, I packed in plastic containers and when he wanted to heat up stuff at work, he dumped it on china plates I got at a thrift store and he kept there. Of course if you are temping, I guess you wouldn't want to keep your plates at work, but you'll probably have that chance soon :) Good luck!

  5. I love the containers also!!

  6. I do what Margo's husband does. I received a set of dishes (two plates/bowls/mugs) a few years ago as a Christmas gift. They are cobalt blue with snowflakes painted on--I swear they were a re-gift! I keep those in my desk at work, and I'll microwave food in/on those.

    Plus, nothing like an excuse to be away from your desk to wash dishes, haha!

  7. Love it!

    I found some containers on sale at our local grocery outlet that are the perfect size for crackers, popcorn, canned fruit, or whathaveyou. Saved our lunchtimes, that's for sure.

    For fridge leftovers, though, I started reusing glass containers. I buy a lot of salsa and jarred fruit on sale, and when we're done with it I just rinse, pop the jar and lid into the dishwasher, and suddenly have some more storage containers! They're great for keeping stock on-hand (I'm more likely to use it instead of water if I don't have to thaw it first) and chopped veggies.


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