How to Calculate Supplies for a Party

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 sheet of paper

  • 1 pen or pencil

  • 1 calculator

Figuring out your supply needs depends on the number of guests.

Planning a party can be stressful. Determining how many supplies you need in according to the number of guests requires a certain amount of preparation. By doing a little math and narrowing down what you're going to serve for food, you can figure it out in a few quick steps. Always prepare for the unexpected and you'll have a relatively stress-free party.


Step 1

Add up the number of guests that intend to come by totaling the number of R.S.V.P.s you receive. Wait at least 2 to 3 days following the R.S.V.P. date to give your guests a little leeway and avoid having to recalculate your numbers when a few stragglers reply late.

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Step 2

Calculate in the number of unexpected guests you may have after you have a total number of confirmed guests. Take into account your guests' significant others and children. If you don't want guests to invite those who are not immediate relatives, say so on the invitation to lower your amount of unexpected guests.

Step 3

Buy 10 to 15 extra of each supply to accommodate your unexpected guests. For instance, if you intended to buy a pack of 30 paper plates based on your official guest list, play it safe and buy the 50 pack. There is no such thing as being over prepared while entertaining and you can always save the extras for a party at a later date.


Look for party supply sites or local stores that sell entertaining necessities in bulk at lower prices to save money.


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