Making Sandwiches Without Throwing Away Bags Every Day

by doodaddy on August 18, 2007

OK, these are just cool — reusable sandwich wrappers called Wrap-N-Mats. (Just to be clear, this is not a sponsored post. I honestly just like these.)

I discovered them back when I was a nature guide, a time when I’d’ve been shamed into a steaming pile of hemp dust had I dared to bring paper napkins or plastic wrap in my lunch. It’s a simple thing: a cloth backing on a non-chlorinated-vinyl (PEVA) liner with a Velcro closure. You can wash it, which I do mostly by hand, although every once in a while I’ll throw it in the laundry on gentle.


My favorite technique was to pre-make a dozen PB&Js, freeze them in the Wrap-N-Mats, and then pull two or three out on the morning of a long hike. They’d keep cool in my pack, so they were thawed-not-yucky by the time lunch rolled around.

More eco-friendly lunch alternatives

  • I use real metal utensils, not plastic. I picked up a half-dozen mismatched forks, spoons, and knives for a penny apiece at the local thrift store so I don’t risk accidentally losing our household flatware. Once used, I take the utensils home in the now-empty sandwich wrappers.
  • I’m a big fan of bandannas as all-purpose field wipes, and to this day I’m rarely without a couple in my pocket and diaper bag. You can get them all over (here’s one place, but there are many) for about 50 cents if you buy a dozen, although unfortunately, the organic cotton ones still seem to cost about 30 times that price.

I’m also a big fan of using lingerie bags as diaper-bag organizers, but I think I’ll save that for another day!

As parents, we essentially need to “pack a picnic” almost every time we leave the house. Any other tips?

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in Doodads,nature ·

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie August 18, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Very cool, and the freezing the sandwiches definitely must be a Dad thing. On the (rare) occasions that my Dad had sole responsibility for us if our Mum was away – he’d make our whole week’s worth of sandwiches and pack us off with a frozen batch each morning to school!

I need tips on how to remember to pack that picnic in the diaper bag – I’m useless at remembering the snacks!

Probably so! Or a hiking guy thing — if your frozen sandwiches are next to your apple and your water, everything survives the hot day a little better!

I dunno about the “how-to-remember” thing, except to say that I *leave my diaper bag packed* — something I don’t seem to be able to convince my wife to do. (We’re a two-diaper bag family.) That includes some snacks, but obviously only the ones that don’t need refrigeration: crackers, veggie puffs, raisins, rice cakes. At least that way you’re never *completely* without food…



Taste Like Crazy August 18, 2007 at 6:05 pm

Oh come on, “sponsored posts” aren’t that bad…they only hurt the first couple of times. 😉

These things look really cool. We go through a TON of zip-lock bags and this is a great alternative.

Not to mention, Tucker could take them on his hiking trips.

You know, I don’t really mind sponsored posts — but I do take them less seriously, I have to admit. It’s like a normal post has about 10 seconds to get my attention, and a sponsored post has about 3. It’s not that I *won’t* be interested — it’s just that I have to ration my time, you know?

Does that make sense? I’m not anti-; I’m just ambivalent. –Dd.


cryitout August 19, 2007 at 7:10 am

Thanks for the tips! I really like the freezer PBandJ idea. It seems so perfect.

Just to join in, I don’t mind sponsored at all, so long as it’s mentioned up front. Then you can take everything with a grain of salt.


D. Perreira February 20, 2008 at 6:44 pm

Great idea except I’m not really sharp on the thought of carrying something around to bring home everyday. You sound ultra organized…it’s not that way in my household!


doodaddy February 20, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Me, organized? Hardly!

It’s actually not that big a deal to bring something home — I’ve got the commuter coffee mug already, and usually an insulated lunch bag and maybe some leftovers in plastic containers. Once you start that kind of habit, it comes naturally!


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