Almost two weeks ago, the school-age monkeys finished their last day of school and started their Spring Break.  My 7-year-old left her lunchbox there.  She leaves things at school almost daily.  It’s one of her quirks.  But that’s another story.

A couple days into our blissful enjoyment of their school break, I realized I never washed her lunchbox.  After a little investigation, I discovered where it was.  Occasionally, throughout the past two weeks, I would have visions of her lunchbox, sitting in the school, the insides fermenting and growing.   I couldn’t remember what I had packed.  That made it even more frightening.

The lunchbox came home yesterday.  I was scared.  With courage and conviction, I took the lunchbox as she handed it to me, and prepared to open it.  Then, I chickened out and set it on the counter.  Then, after second thought, I pushed it back as far as it would go on the counter.  Then, I gave it a look – a look that said – Sure I’m a chicken, but you’re a stinky lunchbox, so I guess … we both loose.  Darn.

Over the next hour, I debated what to do – open it and tackle whatever is lurking inside or throw the whole thing in the trash.  The more I thought about it, the scarier the insides became … thanks to my imagination.

Always budget-minded, I decided to tackle the scary lunchbox.  I just couldn’t live with the idea of wasting what might be a perfectly good lunchbox.  And if I threw it out, I’d always wonder if I could have saved it.

Leftover spaghetti – not too bad.  Leftover milk – a very stinky clump!  I threw everything in the dishwasher, even the insulated carrying case, and immediately turned it on!  My amazing act of bravery (read: knees shaking in fear, but ever frugal) rewarded, the lunchbox was saved!

Now, let me tell you another reason for my motivation.

I absolutely love these lunch boxes.  In all the years (no numbers here, thank you) of packing lunches for my monkeys, these lunch boxes are the best.  On the planet.  (And for the planet!)

(I didn’t have time to take pics this morning, so this pic is from their website.)

This is a pic of their original model which I bought a few years ago when the 7-year-old started kindergarten.  When the next monkey started kindergarten this year, I saw the newer model and bought two.  And the additional set of containers available.

Using the concept of the Japanese bento boxes, these lunch boxes are so versatile.  Whatever our imaginations can come up with, we can probably pack in these.  They are not just for kid’s school lunches either.  They’re great for kids and adults, school lunches, work lunches, out for the day anytime meals.  For the children, their lunchbox is usually only about 1/3 full, or less.  There’s plenty of space for a hungrier, big kid or grown up, or for a day out.  you’d be surprised at how much fits in here!  I think everyone should have one!

(Another pic from their website.)

Go to their website and click on the Photo Gallery link and let your lunchbox imagination go wild beyond pb&j (which happens to be my most favorite and I eat it almost everyday for lunch).

Check it out at www.laptoplunches.com

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