5 Upcycled Lunch Box Ideas

It's back to school time and my kid lost half their lunch box already? Check out these frugal ideas for containers to pack your kids lunch in! I use numebr four all the time!

Don’t spend a fortune on lunch box ideas! When it comes to packing your child’s lunch, you have a few options. Sure you can head to the store and spend as much as $20 on a lunch box for your child. Or, you can buy brown bags and fill the landfill with more waste that it certainly doesn’t need. But better yet, why not find ways to use items you already have around the home to pack smart choices in your child’s lunchbox. There are many items that would otherwise be destined for the trash or recycling bin that can be just as useful when packing your child’s lunch. Not sure where to get started? Take a look below at what items you can use to pack your child’s lunch while being friendly to our earth and saving money. These five upcycled lunch box ideas are so easy, you will wonder why you didn’t try them sooner.

Easy upcycle! 5 Upcycled Lunch Box Ideas:

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Related: Back To School Outfits: Where to Find Stylish Second Hand Clothes

1. Strawberry Clam Shells
When you buy a pound of strawberries, they come in those great plastic clam shell cases. Those cases are nice because they snap shut and are also see through so there is no mystery as to what is inside. The next time you finish off a pound of strawberries, keep the container. Rinse it well with soap and warm water and place whatever food items you wish inside. If you have multiple children, the clear plastic will make it easy to know who grabs which container in the morning!

2. Pickle or relish jars.
Glass is ideal because it is so easy to clean and keeps food cold and fresh. Rinse and reuse small relish and pickle jars for dips, spreads, puddings, cold soups, or anything else you can think of. Jars such as this are ideal for packing with older children since there is a risk of breakage, but they should not be overlooked as they are still so durable and a great way to transport liquids.


3. Bread bags.
Bread bags are great because they are often clear as well and even come with a nifty twist tie. Save your bread bags and ties so you have a way of keeping sandwiches, donuts, or even whole fruit pieces protected and fresh. Just toss the item in, twist, and go. Bags can be reused a time or two if you wish, just rinse with warm water and hang dry.

4. Lunch meat containers.
Lunch meat containers are practically Tupperware containers these days. They are made of heavy duty plastic with convenient snap on lids. Save them and use them to store sandwiches, cut fruit, cheese and meat slices, even potato chips if you wish. Just wash and rinse with warm soap and water before each use. Their size makes them perfect for stashing into lunch boxes!

5. Butter Containers
Plastic butter dishes and lids are another great item for storing lunch items in. They are the perfect compact size and easy to wash and reuse. Store grapes, goldfish crackers, and other small items in these containers and take them for a snack on the run or toss them in a lunch box. So easy!I also love this container made from a milk or water jug, check out the full DIY!

When you try these five upcycled lunch box ideas, you are finding ways to keep your food fresh and save for less. Give these tips a try and you will save the planet, save time, and save money! Packing an earth and budget friendly lunch has never been easier!

Sometimes kids still like the idea of picking out their own lunch box. Opt for an eco-friendly lunch box, then use these lunch box ideas to pack individual items in it! Looking for more great repurposing information for back to school? Check out these 7 ways to reuse grocery bags!

Do you have any great lunch box ideas that help save you money? We’d love to hear them!

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18 thoughts on “5 Upcycled Lunch Box Ideas”

  1. fantastic ideas! my favourite is the pickle jar for desserts etc. i try and save money by packing up my leftover dinner as my lunch for work the next day or everytime i order take away, i keep those tupperwear boxes to pack away meals. i try and make sure no meal goes to waste by salvaging whatevers in my fridge.

  2. I always save my lunch meat containers. They are so handy and when my husband leaves them at work or loses them I don’t get upset because it didn’t cost us anything. Great ideas.

  3. These are very clever ideas for packing your child’s lunch. I am always trying to find ways to use things around the house in new and creative ways. The meat container idea is pretty genius.

  4. I love the use for the pickle and Relish jar. I think Mason jars will also be great for to put in cold soups and puddings for kids. They have some that are around 2 – 4 oz so you don’t have to worry about packing them so much.

  5. These are great ideas for frugal lunch boxes! I am always reusing things like the lunch meat containers for left overs, I have sent John left overs to work in them before! I know we used our lunch boxes for a couple years in a row.

  6. These are awesome ideas and just in time for back to school! Using the jam and pickle jars is a great idea, I always recycle them… not sure why I haven’t thought to keep them as they would be great for salad in a jar and overnight oats!

  7. It’s funny, when I was growing up, we didn’t have a recycling program and my mom used almost every one of these ideas to pack our lunches or even leftovers from dinner. We’ve gotten so used to just popping these things in the recycling bin, but the reality is that reusing them is much more environmentally friendly, and much cheaper too!

  8. I do this all the time. I save strawberry containers a lot this summer. they are perfect to make homemade lunchables for my son’s lunch. And then they can be thrown away, which is the best part! Nothing to wash!

  9. Great ideas I use the containers from the Talenti ice cream and put my kids salads in them it’s a great thing and the top closes tight. I love reusing things that I already have no need to throw them out jars from the spaghetti sauces work wonders too for salads

  10. These are really good ideas that you highlighted today! You have me intrigued with the Strawberry Clam Shells! I always love when things can be recycled, re-used or re-purposed as it saves the environment too!

  11. I have not come across the Strawberry Clam Shells – will have to check in our local store to see how they are displayed – like the other ideas

  12. I love these ideas. My kids are past the stage of taking their lunch to school, but one thing I always did too was have their drink in the freezer. It was still cold by lunch and it helped keep everything inside cold.

  13. Those are great ideas! we save the bread bags and the glass jars. But never thought about using the strawberry Clam shells. That is brilliant. A great way to keep the lunch in an easy to grab container to stick into the lunch box.

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