In Southern California, arid air and drought conditions make keeping water where your potted plants need them becomes a constant challenge. Not to mention to trying to keep your deck or patio from becoming stained or warped from pooled water and dissolved minerals and fertilizers! The simple answer is Planter Saucers to create a reservoir of water, protect your deck, and add a little penash to your mobile landscaping layout.
But have you seen the prices of new Terracotta saucers recently? A 15" saucer at the local home improvement store is $20, and you still need to seal it when you get home (as Terracotta is known to "breathe" to let water out of a pot- not really what you want it you are trying to create a water reservoir). Most people don't want to go the cheap plastic saucer route, as the UV rays from sun exposure greatly shorten its life expectancy, and it can simply crack under the weight of your vessel.
Even if you got your Terracotta pot (and possibly even the plant inside it) from Freecycle.org, ever notice that they frequently don't have saucers with them? It's because Terracotta saucers, as they are simply fired clay, break easily with temperature changes, pressure from incorrect carrying and storage, and husbands who hastily move pots when they are power washing the deck.
What's a cost and eco-conscious SoCal gardener to do? Take a quick trip to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or other second hand store. You'll be able to stack up the savings, and lower your life-cycle cost, by purchasing pre-loved platters and mismatched plates (yes, like from the cupboard.) Your garden will still look lovely with a common theme of white plates as saucers, and for once you'll be able to find a saucer that fits that oddly sized pot that you got with the Dragon Fruit plant in it as a gift. You can also simply request cast-off dish sets on Freecycle- especially around the Holidays when people are trying to upgrade their sets before their in-laws come to town.
So, to serve up some penash for your mobile landscaping, save the planet and save your wallet, try dishes to replace your purchased plant pot saucers. You'll eat up the benefits!