Monday, March 29, 2010

Bombshellcat's Buyer's Guide

There are SO many lists for bento box shopping, but most of the listings are expensive. Some people are luckier than myself and live near Japanese groceries or dollar stores. I DO have a few somewhat local options living in Western Massachusetts, but they are a little on the pricey scale. Support them if you can/are local too- but if you cannot, which I totally understand. I also listed some of the least pricey online options I have found so far.


88 Main St., Northampton, MA
28 Amity St., Amherst, MA
OR, online,

Pricey but cute bentos, including onigiri (meant for riceballs) boxes, can be found here. They also have some bento accessories like rice molds, mini-dressing/soy sauce bottles, sandwich boxes, ect.

Cornucopia Foods
150 Main St., Northampton, MA (inside Thorn’s Marketplace)

Carries “Laptop Lunches”, an American off-shoot of the bento box. “Pricey” $20-30 sets include box, inner boxes, silverware and an idea/recipe guide. Also a great place to get fun, healthy foods to fill your bento with!

Also highly recommend looking around at dollar stores.

Dollar stores have been known to carry bento and bento-like items at complete random. Dollar Tree, for example, often has “snack boxes” that work well for small meals on the go. They are also a good place to find small baking cups to use as dividers (including reusable ones!)
There is no rule saying it has to be an "official" bento box! Many people use Tupperware or other food storage containers. (I used a plastic deli box until I found a bento box I liked. )


All Things For Sale

Carries sets, accessories, boxes and bags, generally for very low, reasonable cost. Very good for starting out, since you can get a set with a box, a bad to carry it in, chopsticks, bento band, and sometimes even silverware for less than thirty dollars! Have not ordered from here so I am not sure about the shipping cost.

Fit Japan Store

A great place for inexpensive boxes. The shipping is $10 no matter how many boxes you buy. Suggest teaming up with other interested parties to take advantage of the flat shipping rate. Boxes themselves range from $2-$4 ! The closest you will probably find to a Japanese dollar store online! The boxes are fairly good quality too, so don’t let the price make you think something is wrong! Also has a good variety of accessories.


Try searching “bento box”, “lunch box”, and “snack box/container” and something you like is bound to come up. Sometimes the boxes are pricey, but if you look carefully (or get lucky with an auction that starts at $0.99 and never goes up) you can find cute, cool inexpensive boxes and accessories- and sometimes sets. (Look up “putifresh” for some cute fruit themed sets with bag, box and utensils!) Shipping and customer service varies from seller to seller, so watch out!

Enjoy your box search! But more importantly: enjoy your lunch!

-B. Cat

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