You don't need a ton of money to set a cute table. Take these pig placecards, for instance. The supplies came from the dollar store — cheap, cheap, cheap. Once Wed shared this beautiful photo of a lovely place setting. The simple pig with a name tag tied around his (or her, we didn't check) neck came together without much hassle.
The crafter purchased small plastic animals from the dollar store and spray painted them white. (You could of course leave them the color they come or paint them to match your decor.) The final product feels elegant and lets you get your hands dirty a little without all the hassle that many place settings come with. Plus, come on, who doesn't love tiny animals?