Leftover Preparedness Kit

Leftover Preparedness KitWill and I like to go out to eat.  Our restaurant budget is limited so we have identified several tasty and inexpensive options around town.  One of Will’s favorites is Bajio, a Mexican chain restaurant specializing in burritos.  He likes it because he can get a huge burrito dinner for less than $7 while avoiding his arch-nemesis, cilantro.

I like Bajio but I get a little frustrated with their disposable dishes.  The meals come in little foil pans and they have plastic lids for anyone who wants to take leftovers home, which we usually do.  We now have a collection of, oh, maybe twenty sets of pans and lids as well as fifteen sets of plastic silverware.  It’s recyclable but it seems like we can do better than that.

So we put together a “Bajio Leftover Preparedness Kit” which consists of one foil pan, four sets of plastic silverware, and four plastic lids.  That way all we need to get at the restaurant is our foil pan of food and then we’re set with our own eating utensils and carry-out lid.  I eventually hope to upgrade the kit to include some cloth napkins and reusable cups (they have a self-serve drink fountain so I think they’d be okay with us bringing our own cups).  For now, the key will be keeping a kit in the car so we are constantly prepared for impromptu burrito runs.  (We have been doing pretty well with the cloth grocery bags so I’m hopeful.)

Eventually I hope to also develop a more generic Leftover Preparedness Kit that contains some tupperware containers suitable for any type of leftover.  I really hate the styrofoam containers that most restaurants provide.  Number 6 styrofoam is recyclable here now but I still think styrofoam is creepy and eating out of it just sets my teeth on edge.  I’ve thought about carrying around some ziplock bags for emergency leftovers but as uncouth as I am, it still seems a bit awkward to pull a ziplock out of my pocket and fill it with leftover pad thai.

Any tips?

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Student Doctor Green said,

    April 8, 2008 @ 4:49 am

    You guys are going boldly where I have not yet ventured. I commend you, however, and wish that I had an arch nemesis as worthy as cilantro. The only cup I take back to a restaurant is to my fav sandwich shop which actually will give you a 75 cent drink if you bring your cup back with their logo on it.

  2. 2

    cinco said,

    April 8, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

    I was just thinking about this on Sunday, as I spooned Mussaman Chicken from a styrofoam bowl into plastic for microwaving. I suppose I could start bringing tupperware out to eat, but not having a car as storage device it will take up quite a lot of real estate in my bag. Hmmm.

    As to cloth napkins, I would just like to state for the record that there is definitely more room on Etsy for napkin/handkerchief sellers–I didn’t find any that I thought were reasonably priced! Woe.

  3. 3

    Linnea said,

    April 8, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

    I think we’re going to have a tax up here pretty soon on restaurants that use styrofoam takeout containers. The city’s also planning a tax on single use grocery bags.

  4. 4

    Eco Cheapo Leftover Kit | GreenCouple.com said,

    September 24, 2008 @ 10:13 pm

    […] about a lot and Will and I do make an effort to take our own leftover containers to restaurants, especially Bajio, but I’m always looking to do more.  I was telling Will the other day that what I really […]

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