Good Food Blog
Top 10 lunchbox gadgetsPosted at 10:02AM, 13 January 2012 by Sarah Sysum - Assistant editor, Easy Cook magazine
We all know that taking your own food into work is great for the budget but to avoid soggy sandwiches and leaking coffee you need the best gadgets, here are my top 10 for making life easier and cheaper in the long run...
Essentials C12FCB11 Coffee Machine
OK it doesn't grind bean to cup, but this no frills filter machine provides a decent coffee. It has a keep warm function that keeps your coffee at an optimum temperature and a water level indicator so you can adjust the strength of your coffee. Buy a decent pack of ground and, on the basis that you take out a latte a day, this has paid for itself in a week.
Wilko Flask Vacuum Purple Small
Plain and simple this flask, although a tad on the pretty colour side, is great value. It has a rubberised finish for easy grip and the cup isn't too small. More importantly it keeps coffee warm for a good couple of hours and doesn't leak.
Reusable Sandwich Bag
It's amazing how much foil I throw away over the course of a year. This is a good alternative; a washable and reusable cotton bag with a nylon lining that secures with Velcro. It's quite rigid, but I'd advise using a lunchbox as well to avoid squashed sarnies.
£5.95, Ethical Superstore
Aladdin Children's Bento Lunch Box
This is a large pot with two compartments and an internal divider. The lid has a handle and screws down too, so you don't get any leaks on the move. It can go in the microwave, so great if you fancy reheating last night's chilli.
£8.99, Dunelm Mill
Snackpack Daypack with Cooler Section
Here you get a decent-sized rucksack with a removable insulated soft lunchbox cooler that secures to the front. If you have to travel long distances to work, it keeps the food cold enough for a couple of hours but the big plus for me is that I don't have to juggle too many bags en route.
Box Appetit Lunch Box
Have you seen the price of takeaway salad? This might seem expensive but I've worked out within a week of buying this and making your own you're quids in. It looks pretty trendy too; a separate section for salad and a little compartment for the dressing. The lid turns into a plate, and it has its own fork and dipping pot. Genius!
Prepology Set of 3 Collapsible Lunch Boxes
I can't be the only one to have my plastic boxes fall on top of me every time I open the cupboard. As the name suggests these collapse down for simple storage. I was impressed by how rigid they became and the spoon-fork combo, which sits in the lid, is a practical touch.
Bobble water bottle
If you spend a fortune on bottled water this is for you. It's a clear water bottle with a replaceable carbon filter. A win-win in my book, one filter is equivalent to spending around ÃÂ£450 on the bottled stuff and you're not contributing to landfills either.
£10, House of Fraser
Isn't it annoying when you get your banana out of your bag and discover it's black and blue? Yes, nature did attempt a solution by encasing the fruit in a rather funky outer skin but even that can't protect it completely. Step in the banana guard, this ingenious plastic case will protect your beloved banana in transit and prevent it from getting bashed about by the other occupants of your bag.
£5.45, John Lewis
Lock and lock medium rectangular food storage container
Sometimes all you're looking for is a plastic container to transport your sandwiches. I've tested loads over the years and always come back to this one. It's incredibly robust and the snap-on lid stays put and produces an airtight seal. Not the prettiest but definitely practical.
Take them for a test drive with these tasty lunchbox recipes.