Since I have 5 kids, we do a lot of family birthday parties throughout the year which can get expensive if one is using disposable items. Several years ago, my frugal sister-in-law and I put our heads together and decided to start collecting and sharing supplies for entertaining. We wanted to save money, and we didn’t want to throw away stuff anymore.
The majority of my party supplies have come from thrift shopping with extra silverware passed on to me by my mom. While I strive to use real china, cloth napkins, and silverware, I do have 2 sets of plastic cups from Ikea. Occasionally I will buy special paper napkins to use instead of pulling out the cloth ones.
Before today, I had my party supplies in 3 different spots in the basement. When it was time to get them out, I never could find my favorite glass pitcher (it was hiding under fabric in a bin) or the silverware (someone kept moving it!). I cleaned the non-party items off the 2 sets of shelving in the picture (don’t tell my husband I moved his tools!), and moved all the party items to these shelves near my laundry area.
I have 2 plastic boxes of silverware on the bottom shelf. On the same shelf, you’ll find some serving dishes and a box of china plates. I found the china plates recently at a thrift shop and paid $.10 each for them. The plates are on the small size – 8 inches. I prefer that size for real china since it’s less cumbersome than the bigger plates.
Because we use real china and silverware, I needed to make it easy on my guests when it came to disposing of their dirty dishes. When we have a party, I clean off the counter area next to our sink and set up these 3 white bins labeled with a Sharpie on the counter. Next to them is a green basket for the cloth napkins.
I use the basket on top of the white bins for slices of bread and rolls. I like to lay a white cloth napkin or dish towel in the bottom before putting the bread in. Next to this basket is a nifty silverware holder that my mother-in-law gave us 2 years ago. Before the holder, I fussed around with mason jars and little baskets, but nothing really worked.
On the other set of shelves, I have a stack of serving platters and bowls. I also like to use my platters as decorative items in my home. I keep small serving plates, bowls and candle holders in the cardboard boxes. In the plastic bin are cake plates and pans in plastic bags. I use the bags to cut down on the dust. Behind the thermos is a carafe for coffee. On top of the shelves are 2 cupcake serving tiers. I also have a tier for plates which I often use for small desserts.
What types of re-usable party supplies do you like to have on hand?
Because I love meeting new people and sharing, this post is linked to: