Designed for the purposes of eating, preparing, and serving food/meals, “dinnerware” is the terminology oftentimes used to refer to “dishware”, and in some instances “crockery in the UK. The term is also used for the description of a set of matching pieces inclusive of the serving pieces. It is important to note that dinnerware can be either casual or formal in nature and should be chosen carefully based on the occasion that it will be used for.

Dinnerware today is typically manufactured in a variety of materials, some of which are more advantageous to purchase and use rather than others. Again, this all depends on the event or occasion that it is being used for. The five most common materials used today in dinnerware manufacturing are:

Durable plastics (e.g. melamine resin)

It is also of importance to recognize the 5 categories or types of dinnerware within which it is classified. These would include:

Bowls – cereal bowls, dessert bowls, and soup bowls
Plates – bread plates, dinner plates, and salad plates
Mugs, saucers, and teacups
Serving dishes – platters, salvers, and trays
Misc. dinnerware – inclusive of creamers, gravy boats, and sugar bowls

Dinnerware Purchasing Suggestions

Searching for dinnerware can be challenging and oftentimes frustrating, whether you are searching the internet or shopping from one retailer to another. The assortment of colors, designs, materials, patterns, and styles is literally endless, which can make your purchasing decision a difficult one. Here are several suggestions that will hopefully make your quest a little easier:

Before you ever start your search, it is important to realize that you can pay as little or as much as you want as dinnerware sets range in price from the very inexpensive to the extremely costly. It all depends on whether you are purchasing a casual or a formal set. Here are some rules of thumb regarding casual versus formal dinnerware:

* Casual dinnerware – typically used for family and friends and applies to breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, and is generally more colorful.

* Formal dinnerware – reserved for anniversaries, birthdays, religious holidays, and other special dinner affairs and events, and is typically white or lightly shaded

Decide on the primary purpose of your dinnerware. Decide if your dinnerware will be primarily used for casual dining or formal dining.

Determine your budget before you do anything else. Once you have made the decision between casual or formal dinnerware, figure out what your budget will allow you to purchase. This is also a good time to calculate whether you want a dinnerware set for 4, 6, or 8 place settings as this will also affect the pricing.

Consider any additional pieces when making your purchase. The standard set usually is comprised of a 4-piece place setting consisting of a bowl, dinner plate, salad plate and teacup. If other matching pieces are a consideration, you might want to purchase them now so as to ensure that your set will match. Oftentimes, delaying the purchase of the matching accessories results in not finding the desired pieces because the manufacturer has discontinued the set, so be aware of this.

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