If you are looking for cheap dinnerware that will last for some time, you really need to consider the material of the dinnerware that you buy. I totally understand that sometimes you just can't afford to spend loads of money on standard household items.
If you don't have much money to spend for dishes, I would recommend that you look for discount dinnerware sets. At discount or overstock stores you can sometimes get high-quality products at a fraction of the cost. The other option would be to consider buying it second hand. You know, one woman's junk is another woman's treasure!
Considering durability is so important when it comes to dinnerware. Otherwise, you may be in the same boat again in a few months.
The strongest and most expensive dinnerware is china and porcelain, followed by bone china and ceramic china. Ceramic china is less expensive than other types of china and often comes with replacement guarantees in case it chips.
When considering cheap dinnerware, many look to plastic, glass dinnerware, or earthenware dinnerware types like pottery, stoneware dinnerware or semi-porcelain.
While plastic dinnerware can be cheap, it is not very practical for most families. It is prone to cracking and staining and it doesn't stand heat very well. Most plastic patterns, including melamine dinnerware, scratch easily. You also should know that melamine is not microwave safe.
Glass dinnerware may be a good option. Some of it is cheap, but it can also get very expensive. Most glass dinnerware does chip rather easily, especially if your family is rough with dishes. However, Correlle dinnerware is extremely durable even though it is made of glass. The thermal bonding of layers of glass along with the glazing that they use ensures strength and durability. My aunt has had a set for years and it still looks good and she raised three kids.
Pottery dinnerware is usually easy to chip because it is made of common clay and it is fired at low temperatures. Some of it is cheap, but the durability is not very good for everyday use.
Stoneware dinnerware is a good option considering the price and the fact that it made of a better grade of clay than simple pottery. It is somewhat nonporous and it is fired at a higher heat. It is more durable than pottery. Most of it is microwave safe and dishwasher safe. Some of it is even oven proof.
Semi-porcelain is a bit more expensive than stoneware and top-quality brands are durable; however, you are likely to find that some are low quality. They are likely to scratch or chip and they don't withstand heat very well.
If I were looking for cheap dinnerware, I would shop for discount dinnerware sets of stoneware or a Corelle dinnerware set . Even though you don't have much money to spend on dinnerware, you don't want to send the money that you have down the drain.