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What reusable lunch bag should you buy?

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waste-free lunch

Hi FG!

I’m curious what you use for Mr. FG’s lunch. I’d like to find something that’s durable and reuseable, yet still looks nice. You seem to be able to find a nice blend of these things for other household items – wondering if you have suggestions for lunch totes as well?


You’ll be happy to know that we use a really affordable one. Because sometimes, an inexpensive item really does work just fine.

Mr. FG has been using this $9 lunch bag from Target every work day for 5.5 years now, and it’s still holding up!

That link goes to a pattern, but his is black. 😉   And his is an older model, so the top is a little more rounded, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

It’s nothing fancy, but it holds a main dish, a couple of sides, a water bottle, two ice packs, and silverware.

Joshua has a slightly different model from Target that he uses whenever he needs to pack a lunch.   And his has held up well for several years too.

So, based on my experience, I give the Target Embark brand stuff a thumbs up.

It’s affordable, and it’s lasted really well for us, so as long as they haven’t recently begun cutting corners on quality, I think their stuff should work well for you.

No insulated lunch box last forever….eventually, the plastic on the lining gets brittle and cracks.   But I figure that if a lunch box carries lunches for 5+ years, it’s doing pretty well.   That’s a lot of takeout avoided, and a lot of disposable bags avoided too.

You didn’t ask about this, but on a related note, here are my 9 favorite no-waste lunch packing products.

You’ll have to click the link to read all nine, but I have to give my absolute favorite ones a quick shout-out: the To-Go Ware stainless steel containers are so, so, so useful.

I really cannot give them a high enough recommendation.   There’s no plastic to wear out or smell funky, they’re unbreakable, light, dishwasher-safe, and crush-proof.

Oh, and besides being uber practical, their sleek, minimalist look makes my heart go pitter-pat. 😉

(cue the heart-eyes emoji)

I haven’t seen them in brick and mortar stores, but you can get a set of 5 on Amazon for $24.99.

I know that’s not inexpensive when you compare them to plastic containers, but I really think these are worth every penny, and I don’t regret this purchase in the slightest.

I hope that’s helpful, Paige!

Readers, is there a lunch tote recommendation you’d like to share with Paige?

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Diane C

Friday 24th of November 2017

Ooh, I love your fun fact! DH's lunchbox says "Little Playmate by Igloo". I pack it with a combination of reused plastic containers and zip-top bags. I wash the bags and hang them on a clothesline in the garage. Larger containers take up too much space, as his lunch is substantial. Glass is not an option, alas. He carries his lunch in his work truck with no refrigerator access.

When we cleaned out my parent's house, I found a nearly new one in their garage and brought it home. My plan is for the current one and the "new" one that's in reserve to last until DH retires in about four years. Wish me luck!


Tuesday 21st of November 2017

I don't have a specific recommendation, but rather a style one. I greatly prefer lunch boxes with the handle on the top (like Kristen's examples) rather than on the side. When the handle is on the side, the contents get jostled around much more, which can lead to issues.


Tuesday 21st of November 2017

I knitted my lunch bag and felted it for sturdiness. It's about 10 years old and fraying around the handles, so it's time to make another. I get entertainment from the knitting and felting part and then many years of use--not to mention the "wow, did you make that?" remarks. ;o)

I do have a fridge at work so it doesn't have to be insulated. I think I only paid about $8 or $9 for the yarn way back when, but the yarn is more expensive now unless I find something suitable in the stash.


Tuesday 21st of November 2017

Since posting my last comment this morning I dropped in to Aldi whilst out and found an Coolabah insulated backpack for $15 that fits my enormous lunch box, drink bottle and everything else I need for work including an umbrella. So excited, never thought I'd find one big enough for summer. I don't need to keep my containers upright as my yoghurt and other liquid containers are completely leak proof, yay!


Tuesday 21st of November 2017

With working 12 hr shifts, I need a bag that is large enough to hold 2 meals and a snack. I usually bring food in glass containers for reheating and that adds some weight to the bag.

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