I know what you are thinking. Wow, Leslie is at a Restaurant Supply store. Hah … I Fooled you. I am in my basement! Looking at where I store my party supplies.
One of my favorite things to do is to entertain. I love the opportunity to make others laugh, feel special, and enjoy good food. On average, we entertain about once a month. Of course, that means I need a surplus of stuff for parties. And a place to store all of our party supplies.
Although we host a lot of fun events, the biggest one by far is our annual Holiday Party. Each year I prepare food for 200 people and we have held this party for over thirty years. So you can only imagine that I have purchased a few party supplies over the years.
What if You are Just Starting to Entertain?
Don’t panic. If you are just starting out, you don’t have to buy anything. But if you start entertaining frequently then you might want to collect a few things you can use over and over.
The first thing I invested in was wine glasses. A party supply store was going out of business and I bought 100 of them. For ten cents each. (I never would have bought that many, but I couldn’t pass them up! And we still use them all of the time.)
I bought my first vases at the flower mart. The smartest thing I did was to buy twelve of them. They were under $5 each and I use them all of the time.
As you can see from the shelves above, I have lots of vases, glasses, candlesticks, and water bottles. But trust me, there is so much more!
So where do I store all of my party supplies? In our basement. It’s a room I don’t really share because it’s not finished and it’s really only used for storage and laundry. (If you would have told me a month ago I was going to post pictures of my basement on this blog I would have said you are crazy! California basements are tiny. And not glamorous!)
As you can see I have lots of vases, glass cups, candle holders, jelly jars, shot glasses, and tons more. Please note, these photos do not include my butler’s pantry where I store all of my china, dishes, wine glasses, and champagne glasses. And six drawers of linens.
Where is the Best Place to Buy Party Supplies?
You are probably wondering where I buy all of our party supplies. I shopped a lot of places including online, restaurant supply stores, flea markets, Craig’s List, and more. I am really good at shopping for sales. I mentioned I bought a lot of our wine glasses on sale and many of the other items were from flea markets.
One of my favorite online stores for party supplies is Save-on-Crafts. I have no idea why this is such a big secret but they have everything and their prices are really good.
As you can see from the photo below, I have a lot of ball jars. Our everyday drinking glasses are ball jars and I also use them for dinner parties. I also use them as vases and to store fairy lights. I have even served dessert in ball jars. I will admit though, that I have way too many! But they are so inexpensive and fun to use at any dinner party.
I do try to store everything in plastic containers to keep my supplies clean. It makes such a difference.
So, am I a hoarder? Absolutely not. And that’s because this stuff is all organized. It really is. In truth, I am an entertainer. And after years of hosting parties where I do everything (as in cooking, flowers, table settings, etc.) I have discovered it is a lot cheaper to just buy and reuse this stuff than renting it.
The good news is that I use this stuff. All of it. The bad news is I didn’t take as many photos as I should have. Which means that I own a lot more party supplies than what you see here. Things like coffee pots, chafing dishes, trays, platters, more vases, coffee cups, soup mugs, chargers, votives, and shot glasses. The list is quite endless.
These plastic bins of shot glasses are not for wild crazy drinking parties at my house. I use these for appetizers at our Christmas party. I promise.
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