Dinnerware for Less

What is Dinnerware for Less?

Simply put, dinnerware for less is what you are looking for if you are on a budget, moving into the first apartment, moving out of the parents’ home, or one who prefers real plates and cups for picnics.  In other words, it is less expensive dinnerware that is real, not paper plates or plastic.

When to Buy and Use Dinnerware for Less

If your son is leaving for his first apartment or his first year in college, it is the time to purchase less expensive dinnerware.  If you are young, just out of college or moving out of the parental home and on a budget, it is time to buy cheaper dinnerware.

Young people on budgets, just starting out in life so to speak, are not interested in fancy plates.  They are interested in “something to eat on”.  And, let’s face it, some of the pieces will be broken sooner or later.  Do not invest in fine china until the time and circumstances are right.

As mentioned earlier, I keep a set of dinnerware that is practical for outdoor events.  When the family eats on the patio or when neighbors gather for a cookout I always use my restaurant dinnerware.  If a piece is broken, it cost me no more than purchasing a small pack of paper plates — that would be tossed in the trash after use.

UPDATED ADDITION: Oh, my! After visiting a young couple’s home for a few days, I found another reason to buy inexpensive dinnerware, even if you have better dinnerware: YOUNG CHILDREN! I noticed that the youngsters enjoyed sitting at the “big table” with the adults. My hosts suggested they had purchased a set of inexpensive dinnerware to use for those occasions when the children were invited to the adult table. Let’s face it, kids need to learn table manners and dining with adults is a great way to learn. But, with four and five and six year old children who want to help clear the table, it is probably a good idea to use less expensive dinnerware.

If you know you have a child that is leaving for university or moving out of the house within the next few months or the next year, start checking for dinnerware for less early in the game.  It is always easier to find the bargains when you have time to look for them, without pressure.

dinnerware for less

What Style and Color?

In the case of purchasing dinnerware for less I stick to the basic white.  Go into any diner and you will see the white dinnerware I purchased.  The set above comes as a single set and sells for less than $40.00 on Amazon for 16 pieces.  It is stoneware.

Let me interject that I would never, ever, never suggest buying plastic or any of the variations for dinnerware for beginners.  First of all, it is not less expensive and it certainly is not durable.  While it may not break as easily, it does not keep its color or clarity.

Why pick white?  If you are buying for kids, you never know what colors they will use to decorate the new apartment.  White goes with everything.

I picked white for my personal use because I can decorate for a Valentine’s Day get together by using red napkins with my white dishes.  St. Patrick’s Day only requires green napkins or accents.  The Fourth of July takes a little red and blue to go with the white dishes.  You get the idea.  I want to be able to use these inexpensive plates and pieces anywhere for any occasion.

Where to Find Dinnerware for Less

Of course, thrift stores are great places to piece together a set of dinnerware for less.  But, one of my favorite places to shop for the less expensive plates, cups, saucers, bowls and salad or dessert plates is at a restaurant supply store.  Look in the yellow pages for local restaurant supply stores.

I was lucky enough to find some dinnerware in a restaurant supply store that was on sale.  I paid a dollar per plate and a dollar per soup bowl, and even less for complementary pieces.  Prices are usually quite reasonable but if you happen to catch the sale when one style is on clearance while a new style is about to be displayed you will find real deals.

Dinnerware sets can also be found in big box stores in settings or 4, or occasionally in grocery markets and discount stores, and of course, online.