How to Create an Affordable Table Setting

When I graduated college and moved to Chicago, I quickly realized that I love having people over and throwing little get togethers. After moving back to Cleveland and having more space, my parties became more and more elaborate – which made me so happy! I’ve hosted Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, cocktail-making parties, and other little fun things. This year, I decided to host Friendsgiving and knew that I wanted to put a fun tablescape together – but not spend a ton of money. I’m really pleased with how it came together and want to share my tips on how to create an affordable table setting!


My mom gave me this tip, and I’m so glad she did! We visited Dean Supply which is my local restaurant supply store, and they had so much good stuff for extremely affordable prices! I was able to pick up plates, bowls, serving platters, serving utensils, and some other things for less than $25. They offer many things in bulk, but also things in smaller sizes. My plates came with 12 and the bowls came with about 20, so I’ll luckily have a few leftover. It’s also a nice way to support a local business!


Okay, the environment aside – buying plastic plates, bowls, and silverware was the number one way I was able to achieve an elevated look while keeping things affordable. Paper products are fine, but a lot more flimsy. And real diningware is of course expensive. You’re also less likely to have enough to serve all of your guests. The plastic plates here are extremely great quality and you can hardly tell they’re plastic! I love the simple design and that they can be paired with many different things.


Instead of buying everything brand new, check with your friends and family on what they have. For instance, my friends graciously let me borrow their table and chairs, because I don’t just have those lying around! My mom also let me use her crystal candlesticks (which are so beautiful, by the way), and they totally elevated the entire table. Imagine if I had to buy all those things on my own? Major costs savings in creating an affordable table setting just by reaching out to others!


Whenever I’m hosting, I’m always tempted to go out and buy everything new. However, that’s totally not the case! All of the glasses on the table (linked below) are cocktail glasses that I already have, and I wasn’t afraid to mix and match. The decorative pumpkins I already had placed throughout the house, and thought they’d be a cute little touch on the table setting! I also had some greenery from other parties that I was able to reuse, and all of that saved so much money in the end!


While it’s easy and tempting to head to Target and buy everything, you’ll likely spend a lot more money. Don’t be afraid to branch out and source things from other places. Everything that I purchased was from a variety of stores – including Walmart, Amazon, and HomeGoods. I had been on the hunt for the perfect napkins, and picked these up at HomeGoods. The package came with so many and they were also only $5! So much cheaper than other places I had seen.

Throwing parties and decorating a nice space is always so fun, but there’s always ways in which you can cut down on costs. So there you have it: my tips on how to create an affordable table setting! Any recommendations you’d like to share?


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Hi, I'm Lauren!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm a 20-something living in Cleveland, Ohio - sharing my love for all the things! If you love fashion, travel, reading, and local finds - then you're in the right place!