Dealing with the details of party planning can get tedious, but the goody bags is where the fun is at!
Instead of the traditional plastic bags, try to find or make bags that go with the theme of your party. Girls night out, use make-up bags and stuff it full of cosmetics. Having a bug party for a child, use butterfly nets as the bag and fill it with magnifying glasses and bug cages. Use gummy worms for the bug party, even the candy can be themed. Make a list of items pertaining to the theme and go from there.
Make them Useful
Fill it with items that will actually be useful. Instead of cheap toys, opt for things that will last longer than the party. Bubbles, play-dough and crayons are inexpensive and great fillers for a child's goody bag. Fill the bag with treats or healthy alternatives.
Stretch Your Money
Buy items that have more than one product in a package. Visit your dollar store. Remember, you need multiple items for multiple bags. It starts adding up quickly. Make items yourself, if time allows. Be creative! Give out potting soil and seeds with a little Terra-cotta pot. All of those items are inexpensive. Think about doing one big item instead of a bunch of tiny little ones. It may actually save you money per guest and they will feel like they are getting something more valuable than a bunch of little cheap things. They are several good resources for buying multiple items. Check out Oriental Trading company for ideas and purchases.