This Week in Bento – Save on Organics


It’s time for another fun bento post — this time with tips to help save money on organics! Here are some of the tasty lunches Emily enjoyed this week.

Clockwise from Top Left: ranch dressing, air-popped popcorn, turkey pinwheels made with
spinach tortilla, organic pretzels (had several coupons, so I stocked up – yay!),
organic strawberries, organic carrots, mini cookie.

I also had great success packing a bento lunch using a container other than a PlanetBox…..

Clockwise from Top Left: cucumber, turkey and cheese sandwich thins,
organic grapes, garden-grown cherry tomatoes, organic blackberries, Babel cheese

This container is made by Savvy Sassy and can be found in the baby section at Target for around $5. It is BPA free, and includes two other smaller containers (not shown) which nest inside with their own tight-fitting lids. I ended up using it to pack my own snack (which Clara helped herself to) when I took her to the playground last week.

Cantaloupe was on sale this week too! So I added some to our lunches a few times during the week….

Clockwise from Top Left: Stonyfield Organic Yogurt (bought a 32oz. and printed out a coupon here),
chinese noodles, whole wheat cocktail bread, olives, turkey and cheese mini-kabob,
organic raspberries, organic celery, cantaloupe.

Just for fun, I focused on turning a hard-boiled egg into a CUTE chick for this lunch. Emily adored it, but it’s not something I plan to do all the time. I have to admit, it was a lot of fun to make it, though!

Clockwise from Top Left: organic pretzels, organic grapes and blackberries mini-kabobs,
turkey and cheese sandwich thins, organic carrots,
organic hard-boiled egg chick (isn’t it adorable???)

This next lunch was a big hit too! I buy Goldfish crackers in bulk — much cheaper that way.

Clockwise from Top Left: kiwi, goldfish crackers, turkey and cheese sandwich thins,
organic orange slices, organic raspberries, mini chocolate.

It was a fun (and healthy) week!

Here are some quick tips to save money on organics:

1. Buy in Bulk — Avoid single-serve convenience packages and opt for bulk items instead. In many cases, buying in bulk is about half the price!

2. Match Coupons with Sales — A great organic coupon site to help with this is Organic Deals and Coupons. Susan does a great job matching sales with coupons and lists lots of sources for printable organic coupons too. I almost always check out the latest listings before heading to the store.

3. Prioritize Organics — Become familiar with the Dirty Dozen list and also the Clean Fifteen. These lists are updated every year, and can help you prioritize organics for foods that contain the most pesticides.

4. A few affordable organics that pack well for lunches: Apples, Carrots, Oranges, Grapes, Hard-boiled Eggs, and Popcorn. I try to incorporate at least one of these in every lunch since they are healthy, inexpensive, and fun to eat!

5. Don’t Waste Food — It sounds simple, but Emily’s lunch is packed with an ice pack mainly to avoid wasting food. Whatever is not eaten at school (usually not much is leftover), is placed back in the lunch tote and she will eat it as soon as she gets home.

That’s it for this week!! Coming up next week….. we’ll share some time-saving tips for packing lunches. Yay!!

I added this post to:
Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou

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Comments

  1. We were given 2 bento boxes and I’ve been hoping for ideas of what to do with them! Thanks! So much fun! And on a sidenote,since discovering your homemade granola bars, I’ve been making them weekly! YUM!!!!

    • Fantastic!! I’m so happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the granola bars. They are always a big hit at our house too. :-)

  2. Yum! I can see letting your clever nature go to town with this!

  3. I have to work on my lunch making skills.

    • I saw those owl snacks you made… you’re not fooling anyone!! ;-) Your lunch making skills rock!

  4. Saw an article about this blog in the local paper. I am so glad to have found it. I am always looking for fun things to do with my kids. Thanks!

  5. Emily is a good eater. No matter what and how we pack for Anna, most of it comes back home, which is quite frustrating. I like the idea of packing an ice pack – maybe this will reduce her complaints that fruits become “mushy” by the lunchtime.

  6. Great advice! And those are some super cute lunches – Emily is a lucky girl!

  7. Where did you get that bento from – love it!

    • The blue box is from Target (in the baby section), and the stainless steel box is from http://www.planetbox.com — It’s a high end lunch box, but very well made and I’m hoping it lasts for a very long time. Works really well!!!

  8. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    These are wonderful. I love the variety of wonderful foods you have in them.

  9. Those are awesome and it must be so much fun for Emily to eat lunch.

  10. thanks for the tips. I’ll will check the links. keep them coming :)

  11. the past two years most food would come back to us, but now the school is having recess before lunch and most of the food gets eaten! also, my kids would never eat the egg chick b/c it is “too cute”–seriously, i’ve given up trying to make cute food!

  12. You come up with the cutest and healthiest lunches. My boys are extremely picky eaters, and I’m lucky because my husband usually packs their lunches, but they do get boring. Might have to plan to make several fun lunches to thrown in for a surprise.

  13. Those are some fantastic lunches! It makes all the difference to kids when you can incorporate a lot of fun, colours and different foods to make lunch interesting. Most impressed with the balance of fruits & veggies!

  14. Hi Valerie,
    Firstly thanks for the blog. I’ve been following for a while here in Belgium and I always love your ideas.

    For the hard boiled egges, I got some egg molds on ebay and they’re super quick and easy, you just shell a hot egg, pop it in the mold and put that into cold water for 10 minutes, hey presto, cute bunnies, chicks, hearts or cars quicker than you can say “bob’s your uncle!”.

  15. These lunches are fantastic! Such simple and delicious ideas. I especially love the hard boiled egg chick. Your pictures are wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  16. yesterday I went to my local Costco (I was ready with my organic grocery list for my fruits and veggies) just to find out it does not carry organic products.
    :(

    • Booooo!!! I never realized Costco doesn’t carry organics — how disappointing. I hope they start carrying them soon! Do you have a local farmer’s market?

  17. Not really. I usually go to Stop and Shop, but it is a bit expensive sometimes.

  18. I love this idea Valerie, thanks so much for sharing!! My son is always complaining about his lunches and my daughter will be starting Kindergarten in a couple of weeks! I just have to make these lunches for her! It is so hard to let her go!! I wonder, do you make these lunches every day? I wish that I could get three bento boxes on a budget!!

  19. We have just ‘invested’ in two of these planetbox containers and are giving them to our girls as birthday presents (filling them with yummy surprises). They look amazing and I wish I had ordered one for me! Thanks for being the catalyst yet again Valerie. I also bought those hard boiled egg molds from ebay and am looking forward to using them soon.

  20. Hi,
    Such a wonderful blog you have! You also have an amazing color sense!! In this post I loved the colored muffin cups, my 6 year old would probably love them. Are these paper? Where can one get them? Thank you so much for the blog, please keep it going!!

    • Hi Sara, They are made from silicon, and you can find similar ones on Amazon by searching for “silicon muffin liners”. We’ve had them for several years now, and are quite happy with them! Enjoy!!

  21. I think the container is actually Sassy, not Savvy. Thanks for the great ideas!