My Adventures In Bento

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Easy Ways To Get Bento Supplies

on September 8, 2014

When my friends first discover that I make bento lunches for my girls, the first comment is almost always, “Wow, those are so cute!”, which is often followed by, “I wish I had the time/imagination/money to do that”. And that’s when I explain how quickly the lunches actually go together each morning, how easy it is to make a lunch cute and how many ideas are out there to help in books and blogs, and how I’m actually saving a decent amount of money instead of spending more. The next comment tends to be asking me where they can find bento supplies. Many folks assume that bento supplies must be super duper expensive. But that’s not the case. In fact, it’s really the opposite. There are several ways to get inexpensive bento supplies.  I’ll name a few, but, by all means, this is not a full list. I’m still learning about new bento suppliers all the time.

Amazon

Amazon is probably the first place I go to look for bento stuff, but that’s mostly because I’m a Prime subscriber and am completely addicted to free 2-day shipping. :o) You will find a large selection of bento supplies there, though, and for pretty good prices. I recently discovered that you can make multiple wishlists on Amazon, so I have one that’s dedicated to only bento supplies. I also like using the universal wishlist that Amazon has available for when I come across items on other websites that I want. This way I have all the things I want all in one place and I can easily email my wishlist to family when they have questions about what to get me for Christmas or my birthdays.

BentoUSA

There are a few bento supply websites out there, but this is my favorite one. And not just mine, I see it recommended by other bento bloggers often. AllThingsForSale.com has just a ridiculous amount of bento supplies. Seriously, be prepared to spend the next 3 days adding things to your wishlist because it’s amazing how much stuff they have.

Daiso

The Daiso store. If you have one local, consider yourself a lucky duck. This is essentially a Japanese dollar store. However, I believe everything in the store is $1.50. But, even at that price, it’s a steal for bento supplies. Not only can you get killer bento supplies, but you can also find fun Japanese treats to add to your bento lunches. Don’t know if you have a Daiso store nearby? Go here and find out. Unfortunately, I don’t have one terribly local. The closest to me is about 45 minutes away, so I haven’t been to it yet. However, I am planning a trip out there next month, so expect a post showing you my haul afterwards.

target

There still may be those of you who do not like to order things online and don’t have a local Daiso store. You may be asking what choices you have for bento supplies. My answer to you is places like Target, Walmart, and any dollar store. You can easily find cute cupcake picks, wrappers and cookie cutters to add cute factor to a bento lunch. Also, I have heard that sandwich cutters are often found in dollar stores. Not only that, but there are often seasonal decorations that can be used to spruce up a lunch. For example, in spring, there are a plethora of shaped plastic Easter eggs all over these stores. Those are great for filling with small things like blueberries or raisins and sticking into a lunch. Last year my mom picked up some plastic leaves for me and I used those to give the girls’ lunches an autumn feel. You can get really creative with stuff from the dollar store. :o)

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I think, though, that I like the Target Dollar Spot the best. They often have things that work perfectly for bento and I’m noticing more and more that I’m finding things that are actually made for bento there. For example, I was there on Friday and picked up these:

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These are on the small size, so I can’t use them for lunches, but they are perfect for their morning snack. And I love the water bottles. They fit inside the girls’ lunchboxes, which is ideal because Delaney constantly forgets to bring her bigger water bottle with her to lunch and then gets thirsty. And I really scored on these because, even though they were priced for a dollar, which is a great price already, Target was offering all their Dollar Spot stuff at 70% off, so I only paid 30 cents a piece! Cannot beat that. Here is one in action with this morning’s snack in it.

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All this to say, you do not need to drop $150 to get set up with bento supplies. Depending on what stores you have close to you, you could get the basic supplies for $10-$50. And those are all reusable supplies, so you will only need to spend that money once. (of course, if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up picking up new supplies here and there because they’re just so stinkin’ cute!)

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2 responses to “Easy Ways To Get Bento Supplies

  1. I was so inspired that I hit the dollar store over the weekend, found some great machine washable containers and cupcake liners(also washable and reusable), and the girls went off to school with their new cool stuff today! Thanks for the inspiration and being AWESOME!

    • knittingdodo says:

      Yay! I’m so glad I could inspire you! And, aren’t silicon cupcake liners awesome? I use mine in nearly every single lunch. Take some photos of your lunches and post them on FB or Ravelry, I’d love to see them!

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