My new, budget-friendly laptop bag.

I had desperately wanted to be able to swap out “eco-friendly” for “budget-friendly” in the title of this post (or even better, eco-chic!), but with holiday shopping, my needs have taken a back seat… in an economy car that gets good gas mileage. I’m the Ford Escort of frugality.

I’ve been wanting and needing a new bag that not only fits my laptop, but can also squeeze in a diaper or two and wipes. Wallet and cell phone are optional, mere accessories. We’re talking about barebones basics here.  So I’ve been obsessively researching laptop bag options. At first, I thought I wanted this one from Keen:

But when I finally found a sample on super sale at Frugal Backpacker in person, its available colors in the only one they had left were, well, ick. (Made with repurposed materials, no two are alike.)

I love this one from Matt & Nat, but just can’t justify spending $180 on a bag right now. Oh, how times have changed.

But I’ve realized that any bag can be a laptop bag. It just needs to have enough room for your laptop. If you use a protective sleeve for your laptop anyhow, the protection inside the bag is pretty much a non-issue. Laptop bags, diaper bags, gym bags… they are all just bags with strategic marketing, and strategically placed pockets. So, today at Target, I bought this:

Only $25 (on special from $29.99), it has a huge outside stash pocket, small inside pockets for my cell, keys, pills (don’t judge), and mostly importantly, unlike my current work bag, it zips closed to keep out the weather. Plus, it resembles (at least from a slight distance) a much more expensive bag I’ve been coveting at a local boutique. No, it’s not water resistant, but it’s lined. I don’t plan on biking anywhere with it, or taking it camping, or standing outside in a downpour. But I’m pretty sure it can hold up if I need to make a mad dash from my car to the coffeehouse. And, did I mention it was only $25?


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