One of the best ways to save money on restaurant supplies is to shop restaurant auctions and liquidation sales for tableware and other equipment. Check your local newspaper's Classifieds section (weekends are best) for ads announcing the sales of existing restaurants. Chances are these businesses have functional equipment, dishes and even furnishings that need to be sold off. This can be done by auction or by outright sales. Call the owners to inquire. You need to buy and they need to sell; it's a win-win situation.