Day 28 – Retreat Goodie Bags and Gifts

Retreat Goodie Bags and Gifts

It’s a really nice touch to give your attendees a goodie bag or small gift when they check in at your retreat location.

Goodie bags and gifts don’t have to be expensive or extensive.

Our teams have used retreat goodies bags to provide each woman with some practical items for the weekend and to give them a small gift or memento that will remind them of our time together.

You may be wondering:

  1. How much should we spend?
  2. What should we put in our goodie bags?
  3. Where are some places to purchase goodie bags and gift items?
  4. What’s the best way to transport our goodie bags?
  5. What should we use for the bag part of our goodie bag?

I’ve got some suggestions for you. 🙂

1.How much should we spend on our goodie bags?

We always keep our bags under $5 a person.

2. What should we put in our goodie bags?

Our retreat goodie bags have varied over the years, but they almost always contain these things:

  • Small pack of Kleenex
  • Bottle of water
  • Wrapped chocolates
  • A few mints
  • Pen
  • Something Biblical/Christian that connects to the retreat theme

One time, we found some crazy good deals and pulled together goodie bags with a Christian fiction book about girlfriends (our speakers were a group of girlfriends) with body lotion, pens, chocolate, and Kleenex for $2 a bag. Part of that was due to the Dollar Spot at Target being marked down to 75% off. They may have looked at me funny when I checked out with over 100 lotions!.

The year we taught on John 15 God put a gorgeous, gorgeous gift book about the vine and harvesting grapes in our path that was perfect and discounted to around $3 from $12. Everyone got a book that year.

You don’t have to spend much money. Consider laminating a card or bookmark created by one of your women with your retreat‘s theme verse on it.

3. Where are some places to purchase goodie bags and gifts items?

My favorite resource for purchasing something Biblical/Christian in bulk is CTA Inc. They have some wonderful gift items and devotionals at very reasonable prices. That is not an affiliate link – just a personal recommendation.

You can sometimes find businesses that are willing to donate items for your goodie bags, just be careful that it doesn’t distract from your purpose and that it doesn’t set a precedent.

If you let one of your women donate beauty product samples, you may have 3 others that get upset because they weren’t given the same opportunity. It’s not worth it.

4. What’s the best way to transport our goodie bags?

If you have a large group, transporting 100+ filled goodie bags can be a bit challenging. We have taken the bags and the contents in our vehicles and then assembled the goodie bags onsite.

5. What should we use for the bag part of our goodie bag?

Now you can find some really nice tote bags, but I’m all for keeping the cost down. We usually purchase the multi-pack of handled gift bags at Michael’s or AC Moore on sale or with a coupon.

I like to put a sticker on the front with our logo and graphic for the weekend.

Really chances are they aren’t going to use a small cloth tote bag… Sorry…

Just as it is with many pieces of the retreat, it can be easy for the project to become more important than the people or the purpose.

What tips do you have for putting together goodie bags for retreats?

You may also want to read:
Shopping for Women’s Ministry Supplies – Part 1
Shopping for Women’s Ministry Supplies – Part 2
10 Ways to Stretch Your Budget

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  1. Karen, I LOVE scoring deals like these! I know your ladies will be blessed! 🙂 May God abundantly bless your ladies and your retreat!

  2. Karen Thomason says:

    We are in the midst of planning our first ladies retreat !! We were so excited to find multiple items at Michaels. They were in there 2 for $3 bins although spring colors we found pens for .15 – .25 , 2 pack emery boards for $1 manicure kits for $1 magnetic memo pads .24
    The worst part about it though is none of it was Mark we just happen to find out that one of them was Clarence when we got ready to check out so I went back to check the other items by scanning them at the price scanner. It took some time but well worth it

  3. Tina, Thanks for adding that! I had not thought about putting the t-shirts in their goodie bags. 🙂

  4. Gloria – Thank you for mentioning that! They have some beautiful journals.

    Those gift books I loved so much came from 🙂

  5. Gloria Ames says:

    Christianbook also has some great deals for gifts. We watched their site for sales and managed some beautiful journals for our ladies.

  6. If they have ordered a t-shirt we usually put that in the goodie bag as well. Most everyone then wears their t-shirt the next day (we take a group photo every year near the end of the retreat).

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