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Start collecting basic supplies now so you can concentrate on invitations and food for your next party. Watch for sales on these essentials: Ice bucket and tongs, place cards, a cutlery stand, tablecloths, serving platters, cute olive forks and cheese ball servers, bar glasses and wine glasses, extra cutlery, candles, chip-and-dip bowls, a punch bowl, and cloth or paper napkins. Purchase plain, white dinnerware that you can dress up or down for any party. Store all these essentials together to make party-planning a breeze.