Living in the mitten state, if you’re anything like me, means spending months on end fantasizing about summer. Summer is the perfect time of year to get together with friends and family and enjoy the beautiful weather. Our family loves to be outside around the pool. When entertaining there is always a long list of party essentials, those things you need in order to feed your friends and keep them cool. I have a plan to permanently shrink your list, all while being “green” and saving money!
Plates, silverware, cups and napkins are all essentials that can be bought just once and reused. No, I don’t mean wash your plastic silverware! But, ahem, I do know some people who do! Why buy paper and plastic products that you will throw away and need to rebuy? You’ll be creating extra trash and throwing away your money. The perfect solution is reusable products. By buying vintage items you can be even greener all while saving some green.
My favorite place to shop for party supplies is the Salvation Army, however any resale store will work. Have a fear of resale stores? You are totally mistaken if you have a bad impression. You will find the coolest vintage items which will be totally unique and fun. These stores have something to fit anyone’s taste. Prices are so amazingly cheap that you won’t mind at all when you accidentally break something. Speaking of breakage, I know that is an issue. While you can definitely find plasticware which would work for reuse, I love using the real thing. I have found heavy duty plates which I love and use outside all the time. We have never, ever had one break. Even the kids use them with no issue. If you are a skeptic, sticking with plastic is totally fine and reusable just the same.
We also have a separate set of silverware that we strictly use for outdoor entertaining. This way they are always clean and ready to go whenever we decide to eat outside. You can find a cheap set of silverware at WalMart in order to get a uniform set with the proper number of pieces of each. Antique stores and resale shops always have these items and they may be a steal of a deal if you ask.
Cloth napkins are another item that can be cheap and easy to reuse. Vintage linen napkins are easy to find. There are a wide variety of styles, colorful or classic white. They are the perfect way to decorate without much effort too. Roll silverware in them to make cute little easy to grab sets for your guests and stand them in a bucket for easy access and fun decoration. If you are a sewer, then making napkins would be super easy. They are a square, enough said!
Green outdoor entertaining is fun, full of style, and can save you money. Give it a try! Changing just one product to a reusable alternative is a great start. A one time cost versus repeat buying will add up to major savings quickly. Go green and enjoy our beautiful mitten summer.