Thanks to Walmart this isn’t as much of a problem as when I first entered a poly relationship, but I want to take a minute to talk about dishes, utensils, and other stuff that you can (traditionally) only buy in sets. Until Walmart started selling dishes one-off, and the various dollar stores followed suit (or maybe it was the other way around), dishes were usually sold in sets of four. For good-but-not-great quality stuff, they still are. The fancy stuff, of course, has always been sold by serving sets.
How much of a pain in the ass these sets are depends entirely on the number of people in your polycule. For a triad with two kids or a five person poly-network that eats together frequently, buying dishes in sets of four can mean paying nearly twice as much as you need too. Of course, the extras can come in handy for breakage or visitors. Now, the 24 set of glass tumblers my mother got for my old triad was a lovely thought–and insanely more than we needed.
So with all that in mind, here are a few suggestions for places you can pick up dishes, and other “set” furnishings one piece at a time, and get exactly what you need:
- Dollar stores
- Antique and Thrift stores
- Garage sales
- Local artisans
- Flea markets
- Craft fairs
Okay, so this may be a combination of me being slightly OCD and being poor for so long that the idea of buying any more than I absolutely have to makes me cringe. If you are happy buying 24 glass sets and dishes in fours, go for it! Personally, I prefer to have enough dishes and what-not for the people who share my home, with enough extra for our regular guests. See you at the antique store!