Tomorrow is our large outdoor dinner party (read: cookout) and all week I've been preparing ahead of time because Dabney and I have plans tonight that we've been looking forward to for months. Anyway, we're entertaining outside and we have quite a few people coming, so I need things to be easy, but I really don't want to buy paper plates, knowing my kids will put a solitary pickle on a plate, throw it away when it's gone, and grab another plate. When we began using cloth diapers and wipes, a year ago last February, I began rethinking other disposable things too. Now, I am not what you would call an environmentalist, but I am all for good stewardship and saving money. Funny how being "green" often means you save green, too. We went back to cloth napkins and I've been trying not to buy things so we can throw them away after we use them.
I knew we'd need plates and cups and napkins for tomorrow, so I went to Walmart and found these great picnic-y plastic plates and cups that are unbreakable (did I mention the 21 children coming tomorrow?) and dishwasher- safe. Sets of 4 for $0.94. Then I scooted on over to the fabric aisle and tried to find a matching pattern for napkins and ~eureka!~ poly/cotton gingham in the exact colors I needed in the $1 fabrics. One and a half yard cuts in five colors came out to 26~ 15" square, turned and top-stitched napkins and 4 more napkins measuring a little smaller. So now we have cheerful tableware for our day tomorrow, and we can re~use it again and again for Bible study, birthday parties, etc. and if something gets broken, or thrown away by accident I won't cry.