Friday, September 19, 2014

Packing Lunch: Tools of the Trade

I've been posting most of my bento lunches on instagram and sometimes I get questions about where I get stuff/what you need to make your own cute lunches. I thought it would be fun to show you what I've got! My favorite place for bento supplies is Bento USA! They have a huge selection and I could browse there forever. I've also gotten stuff from Amazon, Ebay, estate sales, and we used to have an amazing store in town called Happy Japan. They even had bento classes! I wish I had gotten to take one. Also, I am so bummed that we didn't make a trip to Daiso when we were on the west coast. What was I thinking?!
Here is my bento drawer in my kitchen!
Here is my stash of food picks.
They make it really easy to make your lunch more kawaii. Just stick one of these tiny things in pretty much anything and it is automatically cuter! I love the little koalas and monkeys that hold onto things. And of course those little trees!
Part of what appeals to me about bento lunches is that there is less waste generated from packing my lunch this way. Instead of throwing away bags and napkins and utensils every day, I usually don't have any trash at all. I have a whole stack of cloth napkins I use. All the floral ones are from estate or yard sales. I think I paid 10 cents per napkin! I have about four of each pattern so I've always got some ready to go.
I take my own utensil too. I have some vintage utensils with pretty patterns. You can find that kind of stuff for really cheap at thrift stores or yard sales. The colorful forks were from an estate sale too. They are disposables but I just wash them and reuse them. The set with the chopsticks is my favorite. The little animals are so cute!
Sauce bottles are important since you don't want your salad to get soggy or your hummus to soak your chips! I have a whole variety of sizes! The little pandas are for soy sauce, and I use the apple topped ones for hot sauce. The bear is the perfect size for salad dressing and the panda/chicken/pig set are good for stuff you want to dip. The egg guy is for mayo but I don't eat mayo so I usually use that one if I'm taking a bigger salad.
The white things are onigiri molds. They are cheap and so easy to use! You can mold the rice with plastic wrap too, but then you throw that away after every use. Dividers are important in some kinds of lunches, I like the silicon grass the best! The little silicon cups are handy too. Teeny tiny cookie cutters are good for cutting up vegetables or fruit. I just ordered a little set of five with a few different shapes.
These guys are necessary but I really love them! The things on the right are for punching out nori (the seaweed that you find wrapped around sushi) to decorate the onigiri. With the molds on the left you press sushi rice into them to make the shapes. So easy! So precious!
That is what I have for now. There are so many cute things online, but I'm trying to resist. You can be sure there will be lots of bento supplies on my Christmas list this year!


  1. I love all of this! You are so kawaii :). Also, just noticed that your koalas look...umm...aroused.

  2. This is soooo cute ♥ lunch with bento is tastier, you also eat with your eyes right? ;)

  3. You've really inspired me to look into packing my girls lunches this way :) It'll make me get out of the sandwich er'day rut!!

  4. you definitely have the cutest lunch
    retro rover


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