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 we pick our top 10 products for making life easier and cheaper in the long run...
This premium, Swiss-designed drinks bottle is a step up from your usual flask. The vacuum-insulated design keeps drinks either hot or cold, meaning it can be used to transport your coffee to work, then to hydrate you with ice-cold water the rest of the day. The insulation keeps liquid at the right temperature for hours, plus the lid is reliable and leak-proof.
£19.99 for 300ml bottle, from SIGG
Squashed sandwiches be gone! This nifty tin will ensure your butties stay in fine shape, while the bamboo lid doubles up as a preparation board, if you prefer to assemble your sandwich just before eating.
£19.95, from Black + Blum
Yumbox’s clever bento boxes will help you create a balanced smorgasbord of lunchtime treats. The lift-out, compartmentalised tray has different sections so you can pack portions of fruit alongside sandwiches, making it a great option if you want to send a child off to school with a fully rounded lunchbox.
Yumbox panino, £24.95, from Yumbox
Campus backpack with insulated 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 is that you don't have to juggle too many bags en route.
£34.95, from Dakine
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. Enter 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.
£2.99, from bananaguards.co.uk
If you’re faced with tumbling plastic boxes every time you open your over-stuffed kitchen cupboards, think outside the lunchbox and go for a collapsible version. This clever invention is sturdy yet space-saving, plus it comes with a handy spoon-fork combo that neatly sits in the lid.
£15.40, from Wacky Practicals
If you like having soup for lunch but feel nervous about it swishing around in a potentially leaky lunchbox, try a watertight canister instead. This stylish cylindrical vessel by Klean Kanteen is ‘utility chic’ at its best – strong, long-lasting and resilient.
£27.95 for 473ml canister, Klean Kanteen
Some of us are guilty of throwing away an awful lot of foil and cling film over the course of a year, so a reusable sandwich bag is an economical alternative. We liked the fully washable cloth version from Nigel’s Eco Store that opens out into a placemat, and also the child-friendly, plastic-lined version from The Wrapper, which comes with a handy name tag.
LOGIK coffee maker
OK, it doesn't grind bean to cup, but this no frills filter machine can turn out 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.
£19.99, from Curry’s
If you spend a fortune on bottled water this is for you. It's a clear water bottle with a replaceable carbon filter. One filter is equivalent to spending around £450 on the bottled stuff and you're not contributing to landfills either.
£9.99 for 1-litre bottle, by Bobble
Take these nifty gadgets for a test drive with these tasty lunchbox recipes.
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