Help Make Your Lunchtime "Green" {Keeping It Real}

I have a confession. I’m kind of a container and lunchbox-stuff junkie. And at this time of year, with so many back-to-school things in the stores, I naturally gravitate to the lunchbox aisle and all the fun, new options that seem to show up each year. I love to browse through all the different choices and the kids and I have fun choosing new items for those of ours that may need replacing. With Back-To-School, many stores have additional supplies for packing lunches–now is the time to stock up and take advantage of their sales. And keeping our lunches waste-free is certainly a plus in my book!

Our stock lunchbox packing items currently include:
–Reusable lunch tote
Reusable insulated beverage container
–Reusable sandwich container
Reusable food jars (we like the Thermos FUNtainers)
–Cute freezer “blue-ice” packs to keep everything cold that needs to stay cold
–Reusable snack containers or Reusable snack/sandwich/whatever bags (my kids get to take a snack to school to keep at their desks because their lunches are so crazy early in the morning!)
–Cloth napkins (my mom made us some cute ones but keep reading for info. on purchasing some for yourself)

Here’s a photo of our recent trip to Target…see all the wonderful reusable lunch bag choices? Makes it tough, huh? (the picture is a little fuzzy…I was trying to be covert when I was taking it!)

This shows some more choices and these neat containers that I found this year from Aladdin. Their Chill Sandwich and Chill Snack Pack containers come with a removable ice pack that you can keep in the freezer and it pops easily right into the container to keep your foods cold. Genius!

If you don’t have or want to buy the Aladdin packs or want to keep other foods cold, try these fun cold packs that you can keep in the freezer and slide into the lunch bag when packing.

There are SO many choices of how to take your lunch on the go all the while keeping a thought to making our planet more “green” (and saving you some money in the long run!). Here are a few other websites with tons of options to help you find something that will work for you!

Green My Lunch LOTS of different retailers offering reusable food containers. Save 10% from participating retailers when you use the coupon code on their site now through September 6, 2010; join their Facebook page and enter to win daily giveaways too!

Reusit.com Takes going green on the go to the next level.

Waste-Free Lunches Learn how to make your kids school or your work a little greener!

Laptop Lunches They have a neat monthly email newsletter you can sign up to get–tons of great tips, lunch ideas and more!

Easy Lunchboxes’>Easy Lunchboxes An all-in-one compartmentalized lunchbox system.

Ecochic Reusable Snack/Sandwich/Whatever bags…these are my other “venture”–check it out!

I’m sure there are many more options so if you have any suggestions, please share them in the comments section or email me. If I get a bunch more, I’ll do another post. There are so many people out there writing about it I figured I didn’t really need to recreate the wheel…just push it along a bit! Hopefully you’ve got lots of great ideas now to get you and your kids going green for back to school.

Disclosure: I have either purchased myself or done research online for the products mentioned here. The stores mentioned did not provide any compensation. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. No additional compensation was received.

Back To School Giveaway!


Today is my Facebook birthday–yay! It was on this day last year that I put up my Facebook fan page and 380+ Facebook fans later here we are–thank you all!

In honor of my Facebook birthday AND back-to-school, I’ve got a giveaway for you! Included in this prize package are some items that will make packing a lunch a little more fun! It includes one each of the following:

–Dip & Snack Container (as mentioned in last week’s guest post about Healthy Lunchbox Ideas)
–Heart-shaped Sandwich Cutter
–Heart-shaped lid design sandwich keeper
–Yellow lunch tote (it’s not insulated but it’s very cute!)
–Package of Four Reusable produce bags (as mentioned in my Go Green post last spring)
(I realize the colors are little girly so if you don’t pack lunches for girls and you win, just give it to a friend who does!)

Here’s How To Enter:
1. Leave a comment with your favorite quick and easy on-the-go lunch ideas.
2. Become a follower of my blog (link is on the left of this page)
3. Like Meal Planning Magic on Facebook
4. Email subscribe to my blog.
5. Blog about the giveaway and leave me a link to your post.
6. Update your Facebook status with a link to this post.
7. “Tweet” about this post.
8. Vote for my blog at Babble.com’s Best Mom Food Bloggers (I’m currently on page 2, #69 but hopefully your votes will move me up!)

Remember, leave a comment for each entry. Only one entry per person per method listed above. If you are already a follower or subscribe to my blog, you can still have an extra entry–just mention that in the comment. Good luck!

Giveaway Rules:
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!
Winner will be chosen via random.org and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. If prize is not claimed a new winner will be chosen. Winner will be posted on blog and if an email is given, they will be contacted via email. Open to US and Canadian residents only (sorry to my other international readers!)

Disclosure: I, myself, purchased all the items in this giveaway. I did not receive any compensation from any of the companies mentioned in this post or the items shown for this giveaway. Check out Giveaway Scout’s listing of blogs with giveaways for more chances to win great prizes (seen link to the left).

Snack Bag Giveaway Extended & Survey

I’ve put up a new poll on my blog to get your input about giveaways.  Some people love ‘em, some people don’t so let me know your thoughts so I can give my readers what you really want!  You can find the poll to the left there on the blog.

Secondly, I’ve got a lot going on this week and I want everyone to have a good opportunity to enter the contest for the resuable snack bags I’m giving away, so I’m extending the contest until midnight NEXT Tuesday, January 19, 2010.  Be sure to check out my post below for all the details and leave your comment on that post to enter!  Good luck!

A Little Snack Magic~Reusable Snack Bags Giveaway!

We’ve been using snack bags like these for over a year now and they’ve been so popular with my kids and their friends that I decided to make up a bunch to have on hand.  They’re made out of 100% cotton and lined with moisture-resistant nylon.  They are washable and have a velcro closure to keep those snacks where they should be.  We use them most often for dry snacks like pretzels or Goldfish but I’ve also put grapes or orange segments in them.  At the end of the day I just shake the crumbs out, turn them inside out and wipe them out when I’m doing my dishes and let them dry.  You can use them for sandwiches too!  Got a messy PB&J?  No problem–just throw them in the washing machine and hang to dry.
Best of all, by using these bags you’re saving the planet and your pennies by using fewer plastic bags.  I’ll be making many more designs so stay tuned for info. on how you can get some of these bags for yourself in the near future!
But the good news now is that I’m giving these two bags away to one lucky reader!  They are my prototypes so I want your feedback too on how you like them.  How do you enter?  Just leave a comment on your efforts to “go green” on the go or at home.  I’m looking for a name for the bags, so if you have an idea for that, leave an extra comment and you’ll get an extra entry!   I ‘ll choose the winner using Random.org.  Contest ends at midnight on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.
Sorry, this giveaway is for my U.S. and Canadian readers only.  Good luck!