Monday, January 16, 2012

EasyLunchBoxes - These Bento Lunch Boxes Aren't JUST for Packing School Lunches!

Unless you've been reading my blog with your eyes closed, by now you're probably all aware of my extreme love for EasyLunchboxes. And they're great for packing a lunch or dinner, or whatever, instead of stopping somewhere for fast food or a sit-down restaurant.
But did you know, they're also good for fast food and sit-down restaurants? Oh, even yesser!

I know I've mentioned at least a few times *cough cough* how EasyLunchboxes are my favorite lunchbox for mess-free (or at least low-mess!) eating in the car. They fit well on a toddler/preschooler lap, are large enough they stay put on said lap, are small enough they fit between the armrests on the carseat, and don't have a lot of little fiddly parts to get dropped/lost in the car. But I haven't really advertised the fact that I try to keep empty ones in my car at all times. "What?" you gasp. "Empty ones? Why?" Well, I'll tell you. For eating out! That's right!
For a while I was making a 90-minute road trip to and from my sister's house to visit overnight every week. So to make my life easier, we'd get fast food on the drive there and back. But it was hard for the Podling to juggle nuggets, apples, fries (I'd share some of mine,) plus Ranch and ketchup for dipping, all on her own back there. In fact, it was impossible to let her use dips. But I had packed some EasyLunchBoxes in the car to use at my sister's house, to show her how awesome they were for her kids' lunches after preschool. So I started putting Z's Happy Meal in one.
Nuggets, the Ranch cup, and fries in the big compartment; apples in the medium, and some ketchup in the smallest. It made the whole process so much easier! Easier for her to eat. Easier for me to refill (she and I can hand the ELB back and forth while I'm driving, in case she needs more of my fries, or more ketchup, or whatever.) And less mess! No more top-half-of-nugget-box tipping over to dump ketchup or Ranch in her lap. No more spilling of fry bag into dark corners of car seat. no more Happy Meal box tipping off of lap to dump entire meal on less-than-pristine car floor.

In fact, it worked so well, I was getting jealous that SHE got ketchup for her fries, but I had to eat mine plain. So I started using an ELB for my fast food too! Ketchup in one of the smaller compartments, dump the fries out into the large one. It rests perfectly on top of my parking brake (mine's a lever between the front seats) and is at a convenient reach for me. For those of you with longer legs, you could probably put it on your lap. But my legs are so shrimpy my belly almost touches the steering wheel.

But wait, there's more! Have you ever gone to a sit-down restaurant, shelled out $50 or more for food, then had the leftovers leak all over the bag (or your lap!) on the way home? Guess what? EasyLunchboxes are GREAT for taking home leftovers in! Not only can you keep the food separated, but if you're super clever, you can divvy them up into little meal portions and have them already packed into your EasyLunchboxes to reheat for lunch the next day! Know what else? ELBs can be microwaved too! How perfect is that! No more warped take-out container! No more melted styrofoam clamshell! And the ELBs stack nicely in the fridge until you're ready for your leftovers, unlike the various-sized and -shaped containers from the restaurants that may be building up in your fridge. Not to mention all that garbage you'll be throwing out later!

And while we don't have any food allergy issues (thank goodness!) I read a comment on EasyLunchboxes' Facebook page that had a great suggestion for avoiding allergy issues at holiday get-togethers and parties. One mom packs her own allergy-safe meal in her EasyLunchBoxes for her and her son to take to the event. That way it's easy to tell which food is theirs, so it doesn't accidentally get all eaten up by everyone else, as could be the case with a shared dish. And they're sure to get enough to eat, since she packed a whole meal. And if there are other dishes at the party that are safe, great. But if not, no problem! What a fantastic solution to a potentially serious problem!

Another fun (and unconventional) use for them is as gift boxes! Instead of a paper plate filled with baked goods for a teacher, why not put them in a reusable lunchbox? What teacher/coach/bus driver/neighbor wouldn't want an easy way to take a healthy lunch to work?
Eco-Friendly wrapping for your sweet homemade gifts
photo credit
In fact, the gift-giving possibilities are endless! Craft kits, a box for travel-sized bath and body gifts (lotions, hand sanitizers, etc,) play-doh kits (especially home-made! Put two different colors of dough in the smaller compartments, and some cookie cutters and tools in the larger!) Home-made S'mores kits (graham crackers in the large compartment, marshmallow cream in the medium, and chocolates in the small!) I'm sure you can think up more cleverer ideas too! Maybe even some back-to-school supplies? How perfect would THAT be? Either way, next Christmas our preschool teachers will be getting ELBs with scented lotion and hand sanitizers, with a loving note: "You need to eat better. And you stink. :)"

You can even use them for non-food purposes for travel. Pack some small games, toys, activities, etc into the boxes, and store them in the lunch bag! One box for each kid, or different themed activities in each box!

Or, like me, you can just use them as intended: for packing waste-free bento box lunches. Check out my meals featuring EasyLunchboxes!
If you're wanting to give them a try, you can buy them on Amazon (and get free shipping [US only] with Amazon Mom, Amazon Prime, or a $25 minimum order,) or direct from EasyLunchBoxes.com.

I will warn you - because the lids are easy for kids to open and close on their own, they aren't water tight. So they're definitely not for liquids or runny food. There are some tips for preventing stuff from leaking, but you want to be sure they're in a bag that allows them to lay flat (horizontal.) The EasyLunchboxes cooler bag is perfect for this. In fact, you can fit up to three of the containers in one of their cooler bags if you're packing for a long day.
If you think these are a product you'll love, order at least 2 sets. Trust me. Four boxes seem like a lot, until you're using more than one a day. Plus you'll want extras to keep in the car!


~OR~ Enter to win a set! Wahoo! When I contacted Kelly to ask if I could shamelessly steal showcase some of her photos, she offered to let me give a set of these babies away to my fantastic readers! (Pssst! That's you guys! Squeee!)

Prize: One container set and one lunch bag (you choose the color!) Retail value: $21.90. Contest ends midnight PST, 1/22/12 (Baby E's one-month-iversary!)
Mandatory entry:  Visit EasyLunchBoxes.com, then come back here and leave a comment stating something you like about these products!
Bonus entries: 
Like EasyLunchboxes on Facebook and leave a comment here.
Follow EasyLunchboxes on Twitter and leave a comment here.
Subscribe to EasyLunchboxes.TV (on YouTube) and leave a comment here.
If you already like/follow/subscribe, that works too. Just be sure to leave a comment here for each, letting me know!

Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
I will be choosing a random winner using Random.org sometime after midnight, January 22, 2012. Check back on this post for the winner to be announced!

Please make sure I can contact you by either contacting me after I've announced the winner, or not being "Anonymous"! If I don't hear from you within a week after I announce the winner or try contacting you, I reserve the right to pick a new winner!

This giveaway is offered to US residents only. Please do not enter this giveaway if you have won or received free product from EasyLunchboxes within the past 3 months.


Update: Winner, comment #72 - Patwaldau. Please contact me at LudicrousMama@gmail.com with your name, shipping address and desired bag color!
Another Update: First winner never contacted me, so I re-drew! Congrats to Vicki with comment #52!

106 comments:

  1. Most recently we have been using ELB for our weekly ski nights. We feed warm dinner food early to the Guys and then we all get a box with snack foods we enjoy. People at the mountain have been most impressed. And considering the amount of jostling around that happens when skiing with little kids, we're pretty impressed they have held up as well as they have!

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  2. For serious?!?!? Do you KNOW how much I've been obsessing over ELBs?!?!? It only got worse once I started hanging with all you cool kids who already have them. I MAY even let John take one to school once in a while if I get them but seriously? I want them more for me! LOL!!! And something I love? The fact that there are 4 so I don't have to clean them every day ... I like things that help me procrastinate ;)

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  3. I subscribe to ELBs YouTube channel.

    Gah. Kelly's going to think I'm a stalker! LOL!

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  4. Thanks so much for the chance! I've liked ELB on FB for awhile now!

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  5. I really like that they nest when not in use and are boa free!

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  6. They would handy item to have for lunch and I like the colors. Cool.

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  7. LOVE EASYLUNCHBOXES and Biting the Hand That Feeds You!

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  8. Well, besides loving them for lunch we also love our ELB's for movie night! Popcorn in the big part and fruit snacks, nuts, or candies in the smaller two :D Yum!

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  9. I like that they are an affordable Bento solution. I can pack a cute Bento lunch but my child only has to open one lid :) I also love that they stack when not in use!

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  10. I like the fun design and colors!

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  11. I follow @EasyLunchboxes on Twitter as @picpocketbooks

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  12. I am a FB fan of ELB (as PicPocket Books)

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  13. Love that they are divided so that the food is kept seperate. Also the price is excellent as well.

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  14. Follow ELB on Twitter
    (momof4girlz)

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  15. Subscribed to Youtube channel. Really cute :>)

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  16. Sorry, I did mine backwards. I love ELB and have 2 sets (and you can never have enough). My favorite current use for them is Friday's sack lunch day for my daycare kids. Every child gets a special lunch packed in ELB. It's teaching my soon-to-be-kindergartners how to get organized during lunch time and eat before time is up. School lunch times are so short now. Kids can't be wasting time opening 4 different containers. By the time they get ready to eat, lunch time is over. I suggest ELB to all my daycare parents!

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  17. I love the ease of washing due to there being just 2 pieces!

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  18. I like ELB on Facebook

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  19. I follow ELB on twitter

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  20. I subscribed to ELB on youtube

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  21. I follow ELB on Facebook. Turtmonk@aol.com

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  22. I love that ELBs are one container and lid! Less for my kids to fuss with, less to wash, less to try not to lose! I love the colours too, my husband leaves before we get up and he knows he can take the ELB with the blue lid :)

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  23. I follow Easylunchboxes on Twitter :)

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  24. I like Easylunchboxes on Facebook :)

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  25. I subscribe to Easylunchboxes.TV on YouTube :)

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  26. I love these ELBs and am dying to try them! I'm trying to get my kids to eat healthier, and these would be great!

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  27. I love all the cool pics of lunch ideas on ELB website! I want to plan a playdate just so I can pack lunches!!

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  28. I subscribed to ELB tv on YouTube

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  29. I went to teh site & I like how the container fits perfectly inside the bag. I've got tons of containers to arrange in our bags.

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  30. I like EasyLuncjboxes on facebook!

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  31. I follow EasyLunchboxes on twitter @TiffanyColor

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  32. I subscribe to EasyLunchboxes on youtube! mayaquice

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  33. I enjoy your blog and we also love ELB. Thanks for the great ideas about new ways to use them for fast food. :)

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  34. I love Easy Lunchboxes. I love that you get orange and green lids. My children's favorite colors. I follow Easy Lunchboxes on Facebook and Twitter. I also follow Kelly's boards on Pinterest!!!

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  35. What I like most about easylunch boxes is that there is less waste and less money spent on baggies and such.

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  36. I like easylunchboes on facebook

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  37. I fallow easylunchboxs on twittee @bunnymom4

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  38. I love how they stack and I can store them. I really need some of these!
    Thanks for the chance!
    Vicki

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  39. I am a FB of ELB!!
    Thanks for the chance!

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  40. I follow ELB on Twitter!!

    Thanks for the chance!

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  41. I want ELBs sooo bad... but probably cuz I've been hanging out with the Kids Bento crowd and they all have such great reviews of ELBs. :)

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  42. I am a follower of ELBs on FB. :)

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  43. and I subscribed to ELB-TV on Youtube.

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  44. I am in love with these containers. I have been stalking all these great sites talking about them and I can't wait to have them in my hands to pack great lunches for my girls!

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  45. I "like" ELB on facebook.....and LOVE to look at the pics of everyones lunches!

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  46. I like that the space-saving lunch boxes nest when not in use.

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  47. I Like EasyLunchboxes on Facebook (Joy Thornsburry)

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  48. I Follow EasyLunchboxes on Twitter (@thejoyofsaving)

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  49. I Subscribe to EasyLunchboxes.TV (purplekitty1979)

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  50. I LOVE ELB containers! I use them everyday to pack my 2 children's lunches. They are great and I would be lost without them!

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  51. I like the size ...Perfect Portions , I couild even use it for my own Lunch! & have Just enough..

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  52. Followed easylunchboxes on Twitter !

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  53. Hello,

    Wow, these lunch boxes are really neat! I like the fact that it keeps things separate...great for kids!.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

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  54. Just followed ELB on twitter.

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  55. i love ANYTHING that makes life easier! i've seen these on FFM and would love to try them out!

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  56. I already like & follow Easy Lunchboxes

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  57. ELB are great. Everything is in their own section no spaghetti ending up mixing with my Apple slices. Love them. I would love have a set for my little to have his own.

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  58. We already own a set and 3 cooler bags, but a second set would come in handy since one ELB has cracked. Boo hoo. I find it so much easier to pack my kids school lunches in these...it takes about half the time!

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  59. Oh and I already follow ELB on FB!

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  60. Love that they are microwaveable and dishwasher safe!!

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  61. Love that you can throw ELBs in the dishwasher!! Sending you XOXO's from FFM :)

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  62. ELB's look perfect for my daughter's Bento lunches!

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  63. I love that they are made from safe materials and won't leak!

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  64. Perfect portion sized lunches for school that have space to separate everything!!!

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  65. These make great containers for my preschooler's lunch.

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  66. I love the colors and portion sizes of the containers.....these are easy to grab and go....would fit in the dishwasher top shelf...etc.
    Mary Beth

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  67. I also clicked "Like" on Facebook!

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  68. I'm such a proponent of reusable things like lunch boxes/containers. I'd love to find out first-hand, but until now I've just been lusting. Sadly, we have sub-par solutions in our house. I've followed EasyLunchBox on Twitter and Facebook, too!

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  69. ELB rocks! We use 'em for our family's lunches and we haven't looked back!

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  70. I already...long ago...liked ELB on FB

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  71. my twitter name is LaterBetty, btw. And I subscribed to ELB TV

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  72. Is that Z on the EasyLunchboxes homepage in the Nautilus?

    I like that the EasyLunchboxes stack.

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  73. I love the fact that the bag is large enough to hold more than one easy lunch box at a time for when I take both irks on the go.

    Mrsgolliday@comcast.net

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  74. I follow EasyLunchBoxes on YouTube. - Marla J

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  75. I follow EasyLunchBoxes already on FB - Marla J

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  76. ELB has a ton of lunch ideas in case I get bored putting them together! - Marla J

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