Thursday, May 10, 2018

I Love My New Dishes

In my family, there are 4 children. A home with 4 children means that things break a lot. Because kids are, as you know, kids. And I'll admit, adults also break things. For that reason, I am loathe to use real dishes in my house, because I've had to deal with far too many shattered plates, bowls, and cups throughout the years.
However, while I do use disposables from time to time, I prefer reusable things that don't break to disposables. For cost reasons predominantly, but environmental reasons is another bonus.
Quite a few years ago (I tried searching this blog to find a date, but couldn't find the post) I bought a set of plastic dishes that looked like real ones, like Corelle, but doesn't shatter into tiny slivers when dropped on the floor. (If anyone wants to give me grief about using plastic, how unhealthy it is, you're kindly asked to keep your thoughts to yourself.)
We had many good years with them, I got lots of compliments on them. They were a complete matching set of large plates, small plates, and bowls.

And then over time, they started deteriorating. Some got cracks. A few did break after a few too many drops on the floor. (Even plastic doesn't last forever.)

So recently I've been searching for a new set of matching reusable plastic dishes.

And boy did I have a hard time.

The first time I found my dishes, it literally was the first store I walked into to look for them, and found a complete matching set. (They were sold as individuals, but there were plenty available there so I could buy a whole set.)

This time around, I had a hard time finding stores that carried these types of dishes, period. And when I did find some, they were just the ugly very plastic looking brightly colored plastic plates. Then sometimes I found these bamboo dishes that were very childish looking, with cutesy characters on them, and definitely not a whole set.
You have no idea how many stores I walked into, attempting to find something, anything. And the one time I did find something that sort of fit with what I was looking for, they didn't have a complete set with the same design. I wanted 12 large plates, 12 small plates, and 12 bowls. 12 cups would have been a bonus but unnecessary.

Then on Monday I decided that I wouldn't give up looking until I found what I needed, because our current set was getting more and more broken, and I wanted to be able to host guests and have enough dishes.

I asked around on local groups, and got a few suggestions of stores to hit up.
So the first store I go to, lets call it store 1, they had some small bamboo plates, a few cups, and some plastic bowls. No large plates, no matching sets. I took a picture of the store's selection, just in case.
Then I went to another part of the city, and checked out store number 2. They had literally nothing.
Store 3, a household goods store, actually had a large selection of melamine plates. Which I discovered is basically plastic that looks like thick ceramic dishes. I wasn't in love with the patterns there, but even more so, the prices were astonishing. $5.50 to $7.50 per plate! That would be at the very least $225 for what I was looking for, well above what I'd planned on spending. That store was a bust.
I went in to a fourth store and "nearly" struck gold. Large plates and small plates in a matching pattern. And in grey, a color that I like and is the basis for the color scheme of my home. Well, not exactly grey, more like a taupe-ish grey. And the large plates were $1.42 and the small plates were $1.14. And they had enough plates for me to get 12 of each kind. Only... they had no bowls. But at that point I was thinking that as long as I had matching plates, I was good, I could find coordinating white or grey bowls to go with them. So I got them. $30.75 for the lot. I also decided to get two serving containers that were $2.85 each.
So far so good.

At this point, I'd exhausted all my options in that part of the city, so traveled to another part of the city to attempt to find matching or coordinating bowls.
Store 5 had more of exactly the same plates I saw in store 4, but no bowls, and not a large selection of plates either.
Store 6 had bowls, no plates, and the bowls were pretty. They had grey bowls even, but only 3 of them! They had beautiful turquoise bamboo bowls, and lots of them, but didn't have enough of the grey.

At this point, I wasn't sure where else to look. Then I remembered that store 1 had bowls and when I went to look at the pictures that I took there, the bowls looked like a taupe grey to me, so I said, fine, I'll go back to store 1, and hope that the color and pattern works with the plates I got.

Of course, as soon as I got to store 1, I realized I made a mistake.
The bowls were too similar but too different to go with my plates. "Close but no cigar" is how I would put it.

Yes, it also was a greyish taupe, but the bowls leaned more towards brown and the plates leaned more towards grey. And the fact that they had a wood grain look meant that it was two patterns that clashed on top of the colors being too close to have a nice contrast, but too different to match.

At that point, I was frustrated enough that I was considering just getting them anyhow, and saying screw the fact that it doesn't coordinate well enough...

But then I spoke to my best friend and she she mentioned that those plates would look really nice with turquoise bowls, especially as the color scheme in my house is grey, burnt orange, and turquoise... and I told her that I saw gorgeous turquoise bowls in store 6, so I'd head back there to get them.

So once again, another bus ride back to store 6 and saw that they had... 11 matching turquoise bowls that were matte, and 1 shiny turquoise one. At this point I was tired. So many different store visits. So many different parts of town. And yes, these bowls were $3.43 each, but I decided to get them. The 11 matte ones and the one shinier one.

I have to say that I am in love with how it looks. Yes, the bowls were pricey, bringing the entire cost of my dishes to $77.61, but for how it looks, I am really pleased!

My husband was unsure at first about the mismatched blue bowls, but honestly, I think this looks even prettier than if they all were the same pattern.

I'm looking forward to many years of service with these dishes. They are dishwasher safe, but not microwave safe, but I do have some microwave safe stuff to use to heat up my food.

And as for why 12? Well, I like hosting guests; its something important to me, important enough to be worth spending more money on getting a set of 12 dishes with our family of 6.

And that is not all... We have another new change in our house that I'm excited to share with you.... but that'll have to be another post.

What kind of dishes do you have in your house? Do you have matching sets or mismatched? How many people can you serve? How much are you usually willing to spend on a set of dishes for your home?


  1. I used to be anti-plastic, then I broke too many dishes. Nuf said. The bowl makes the set pop. I love it!

  2. Nice dishes - I like the contrast. I think you found a great solution.

    We have a hodgepodge mix of bowls and plates, much of it thrifted, but it works for me.

    - Tina

  3. Curious, where you are do they have thrift stores? I lived in Naples, Italy and never saw one but then wasn't looking for one either. Btw, what country do you live in? Can you reveal that without the city?

    1. We do have thrift stores but they're mostly clothes here. I know one thrift store in my country that sells dishes, but no complete sets. I don't mention the country I live in on my blog, but feel free to send me an email to


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