Chances are good that somewhere near where you live is a restaurant supply store. Many restaurant supply stores are open to the public and the deals are pretty incredible. We just picked up a dozen 12.5 inch plates, a dozen 10.5 inch plates, a dozen bowls, some wooden spoons, some tongs, and other various things for around $150. The plateware is restaurant quality and safe to put in the dishwasher, microwave, and even in the oven. Oh, and the plateware very closely resembles the style of high-end Crate and Barrel plateware.
Restaurant supply stores are great places for holiday entertaining as you can purchase glasses and silverware and plateware for pennies on the dollar; I saw water glasses at the one I went to today for $0.25 each (yes, they were glass). Additionally, you can get excellent deals on big baking pans, oversize pots and pans, and all kinds of other cooking items you might need just for this time of year.
Some restaurant supply stores also stock some foodstuffs; the one I used to go to in Los Angeles stocked exotic salts and had the best price in town for foi gras.