Are Paper Plates For Parties Worth The Money?

Discussion in Seasonal & Holidays started by cocolgooh • Mar 9, 2016.

  1. cocolgooh

    cocolgoohActive Member

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    I know the reason many people buy them is to save on all the dish washing that would need to be done if ordinary plates are used. However, the cost of the water, the dish soap and the wear and tear on the plates and dish cloths is far less than the cost of the paper plates would be.

    Is the time saved by not having to do the dishes enough motivation for you to purchase paper plates? Are there any other factors that influence your decision?
     
  2. gata montes

    gata montesActive Member

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    Nope - for me they wouldn't be and although I do have to admit that using paper plates does make life a whole lot easier when entertaining a large volume of people - as I do a fair amount of outdoor entertaining and we ourselves eat outside regularly for a large part of the year - not only is it more cost effective for me to use break resistant crockery rather than paper - but I honestly couldn't justify the incredible amount of costly waste that paper plates generate for what is in theory - only a couple of hours use at most.

    In fact since investing in some Luminarc break resistant crockery what must be at least 20 plus years ago now - which by the way - comes in a wide range of designs to suit almost every taste - from traditional styles like this

    Break Resistant Crockery - Luminarc - Traditional.

    to modern cheerful designs like these

    Break Resistant Crockery - Luminarc- Pareo Corail.

    Break Resistant Crockery - Luminarc - Pink Sorbet.

    as well as almost every plain color imaginable - not only have I saved a huge amount of money along with what probably amounts to a small forest of trees by now - but as all the ranges are fully microwave/dishwasher safe and are also oven and freezer proof - they were very definitely an extremely worthwhile investment - especially as - due to their versatility - of being able to go straight from the freezer into the oven or microwave and then onto the table - this is the crockery I generally now use the most - both indoors and outdoors.
     
  3. Corzhens

    CorzhensWell-Known Member

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    We always have a stock of paper plates, paper/plastic cups, plastic forks and spoons. When we have a trip for an outing, we just grab a pack of a complete set. And sometimes when we have house guests with many children, we use the disposable utensils because children can break glasses and ceramic plates. And even in the neighborhood, when we give away some extra food, we use the paper plate so there's no need of washing and returning our plates.
     
  4. Zyni

    ZyniWell-Known Member

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    I agree with you, but I've only managed to arrive at a compromise. I use real plates for the meal, but I use small paper plates for dessert. I usually use disposable cups as well, if there are a lot of people.

    I think it is cost effective to use disposable dinnerware. As you mentioned, the cost of water, heating up that water, and the dish soap, all add up too. I often get paper plates and stuff on sale super cheap, so it definitely works out for me.

    My husband doesn't really approve of serving a meal on paper plates though, so I've compromised a bit. I keep threatening to give disposable dinnerware to everyone else but let him have his real plate, ha ha. Maybe if everyone else had to take a turn doing all those dishes, they'd learn to like paper plates a whole lot better. ;)
     
  5. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

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    For me they are one hundred percent worth it, as long as they are appropriate for the type of get together it am putting up. The small amount I would save by using soap, I would probably just waste somewhere else anyway, and this way I could save myself from not only spending too much time and effort but also probably shortening my lifespan by stressing out myself too much, so I just consider it a savings on my future medical bills at the very least.
     
  6. jneanz

    jneanzActive Member

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    It depends on the audience. Like another poster said, a large party or kids justify paper plates. If it's business or a wedding reception (?), then fine disposable dishes should do the trick.
     
  7. atlmom5

    atlmom5Active Member

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    For me it depends on the crowd, if it's a large children's party I would invest in paper plates. If it's a dinner party with a group of friends and family. I'll prefer to use plates and glasses.
     
  8. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    The only way that would purchase actual ceramic, glass, and pyrex plates would be for a really special occasion. Nobody in my family at least cares about the quality of the plates. People just want to eat, and eat comfortably. As long as the food that is cooked does not sog through the bottom of the paper plate, then I don't see any issue. I would and have used paper plates for both kids parties and for adult gatherings.
     
  9. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    For parties and people eating outside, especially children yes without a doubt. There is also the risk of running out of plates with a large gathering so serving on platters and then people using paper plates is sensible and saves time. Plus if you have ever had to wash up by hand after a party, the time saved is worth it, especially when people leave food on the plate.
     
  10. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    I wouldn't want to have party guests, adult or children, using my good glass or ceramic plates in any event. In my family, almost everyone has about one or two small children running along. These children keep all the adults rushed off of their feet, and plates often get dropped at parties due to this. If you have paper plates, the only mess you have to worry about cleaning up is the spilled food, and not the shards of glass.
     
  11. Zyni

    ZyniWell-Known Member

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    Yeah, I have to agree with this and the issue of breakage with kids. It's definitely worth it to me to avoid washing dishes forever after a party. I already spend a ton of time in the kitchen preparing, cooking, serving, etc. I'd like to spend some time enjoying the occasion and my guests, rather than being right back in the kitchen cleaning up and washing dishes. Besides, I can often get paper products dirt cheap at a couple of the local discount stores.

    I used to feel bad about it, but not any more. In fact, if I could get away with it, that's all I'd ever use, ha ha. Paper plates for the win.
     
  12. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    We rarely used paper or plastic plates, cups and flatware growing up, and I've pretty much continued that tradition. I was surprised when I moved down here to Texas that most people use plastic or paper plates, cups and plastic ware for holidays, because that is when we would pull out the good china.

    I can definitely see using disposable table ware for outdoor occasions and also children's parties, because it's easier to clean up, and there's less chance of breakage or loss. I occasionally buy a package of holiday themed paper plates, such as for the 4th of July, and I keep the leftovers and use them for Memorial Day and the 4th of July the next year. I love Easter themed items, so will sometimes buy a package of pretty flower or bunny themed plates and use them for Easter dessert and small meals afterwards.
     
  13. venusflytrap

    venusflytrapMember

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    I'd say it all depends where you hold the party. If it's out in some lovely nature spot, well, it wouldn't be very practical to drag along your porcelain plates. But for the more common parties at home, I wouldn't invest in paper plates. I don't see any reason for it. I've never had any party that was so big that I ran out of plates, cups, or glasses. One of the worst things would be plastic cutlery. I despise it.
     
  14. purplepen88

    purplepen88Active Member

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    I don't use paper plates too often. I have invested in nice set of patio dishes, cups and wine glasses. I know it means more cleaning up but I feel in the long run I'm saving money. Also it sets a nice tone/feel to the backyard meal when all the dishes and bowls match. If I'm having a large party say a birthday party or staff party and there are more 12 people then I'll serve using paper plates and plastic utensils. It makes more sense to go paper in this case as I don't have enough of my good plastic set to serve more than 12 people and I would be doing dishes for a long time after the guests leave.
     
  15. Pat

    PatWell-Known Member

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    I have to admit we use paper plates to cut down on the dish washing and the fact that was may not have enough plates for everyone. We only use paper for large groups of people events. We do not have enough glasses or plates for large groups or for outdoor use.
     
  16. Zyni

    ZyniWell-Known Member

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    I do this too. I usually get the themed items at the post-holiday sales for a fraction of the cost. I've picked up packages of themed plates, napkins, cups, etc. for 90% off at times. If I can grab a pack of plates for a dime, heck yes. Granted, I don't always get them that cheap, but still pretty cheap. Sometimes, you can even catch solid colored ones at those sales as well. I picked up pink ones after Valentine's Day. If the label says anything about the holiday or occasion, it gets marked down. I don't find as much stuff like that any more, but I used to snap up those deals all the time and still will when/if I can find them.
     
  17. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    I had not even thought of that when considering this issue, but I hate washing dishes and loading up the dishwasher. It is some of the most tedious work one can do lol. So obviously I am a fan of paper plates because I don't have to wash tem or do any of the clean up work with them. I can just throw them away.
     
  18. explorerx7

    explorerx7Active Member

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    There are Many reasons that could encourage the use of the paper plates; no losses from theft or breakage, no chance of people borrowing the utensils to take away food. If the disposal process for the used plates is properly organized the cleaning up process would be very much easier and less water time and cleaning agents would be needed.
     
  19. Zyni

    ZyniWell-Known Member

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    I don't have to worry about theft, since the only people that come over are close friends or family.

    Yes, the clean up part is the main reason for me. Saving time is saving money, right?

    I love to just pile up the plates and cups on the table, roll all of it up in the "tablecloth" and toss the whole mess in the trash. You can make a paper tablecloth from newspaper and not feel bad about throwing it away. It's a good reuse. Just weave strips together to make a sturdy table cover, and it actually looks cute. Much cuter than just throwing some newspapers on the table, and you also save money by not buying a table cover.

    Of course, this kind of stuff is for cookouts and such. I don't do this for "fancy" parties (which are rare around here).
     
  20. obliviousme

    obliviousmeActive Member

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    Paper plates and plastic cups are lifesavers! And i take advantage of using them when i can. Like someone mentioned above, i only use them for casual gatherings also.