If you’re in the trades, it’s likely that your office is your van or truck. It’s also often your lunchtime companion, as you’ll escape there to grab a bite to eat and head back to the job. But, you’re an adult now. The old-fashioned brown bag experience just doesn’t cut it.
Investing in a quality lunch box makes sense. It’s money well spent because a good lunch box keeps your food fresh and organized. It’s easy to keep clean and restock. And it’s better for the environment because it’s reusable. Here’s what to look for.
Rigid or soft?
This comes down to a personal preference, and it usually depends on where you plan to store it until use. A rigid reusable lunch box will do a better job of protecting your food because it’ll retain its shape.
Soft reusable lunch boxes will have a general shape, but they’ll be more flexible and tend to have reusable inserts. A soft lunch box also will allow you to fit odd-shaped items or containers for those days when you might want something extra. Most usually allow you to flatten them or stuff them in a temporary holding space so they’ll take up less room on the way home.
Almost all lunch boxes offer some kind of insulation—but it’s important to take the time to research what that insulation feature is designed to do. At the least, it’s there to keep things cool. Some lunch boxes come with removable ice packs that help with maintaining a cooler temperature inside.
The best way to keep something hot is to put it in a thermos, which can either accompany your lunch bag, or fit inside if there’s room.
Check to see that the material you choose is stain resistant. Go with a BPA material or stainless steel, and make sure that it’s dishwasher safe if that’s important to you.
What else to consider?
Want flexibility? Look for a lunch box that has removable containers, so you can choose which ones to use. If you do go with containers, make sure that they’re microwave safe. That way you can zap them just before you head out on the road.
Size matters, of course. How big is your usual lunchtime appetite? You’ll want to buy a lunch box that matches. Generally, it’s better to go just a bit bigger. That’s even better advice if you choose a soft reusable lunch box.
Be on the lookout for stain-resistant materials. You’ll eventually get a leak or spill. If you opt for a soft lunch box, look for styles that are machine washable. You may have to remove part of it before throwing it in the washer. This may also be the case if you buy a rigid lunch box and take it for a ride in the dishwasher.
If you invest in a quality lunch box, you can expect it to be durable enough to last for a long time—and probably much longer than the time it’ll pay you back in savings on buying disposable bags or eating fast food.
Is it time to find a new job opportunity to match your upgraded bring-your-lunch routine? The Nexstar Jobs job board offers exclusive opportunities for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC home service technicians across the country.