How to Get Free Clothes for Your Kids: Top 11 Ways

Kids churn through clothes quickly. They're rough on their clothes, and they're always growing. I want to buy high quality clothing for my kids (in the hopes it survives my husband's heavy-handed washings and can get passed down from my oldest to our youngest), but it can be expensive.

Luckily there are several great ways I've discovered to get free clothing for your kids. You can get freebies and mega-bargains, as well as charitable organizations that give away clothing for free.

11 Ways to Get Free Clothes for Your Kids

#1 Join Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook

There are "Buy Nothing" groups you can join on Facebook. These groups are generally tied to specific cities or neighborhoods. Members are dedicated to buying nothing, reducing spending and overconsumption. Most items range from gently used to well-worn but with lots of life left. People will list free clothing if they are looking to trade, or just to give away to a good home with no strings attached.

It's worth your time to join one of these groups. If you don't see clothing listed in your kids' sizes, just ask. Say what you're looking for and in what size. Someone will have something. You can also find other goodies here, like cloth diapers, strollers, toys, furniture, sporting equipment, and much more.

#2 Make the Most of Referral Programs

Most retailers have loyalty programs, including children's clothing brands. Even more niche labels, like Rylee + Cru or Alice & Ames, will have rewards programs to reward you for your purchases.

I really love the Alice & Ames children's brand and share it with friends and family. Through sharing my Alice & Ames referral code, I've earned enough rewards to get 7 free garments. If there's a children's clothing brand you love, let others know and you can earn some good reward bonuses.

Other brands with great loyalty and referral programs:

#3 Sell Your Old Toys and Clothing at Once Upon A Child

Once Upon A Child (OUAC) will pay you cash on the spot for gently used children's clothing, toys, and baby gear like changing tables or strollers. They especially want cute clothing for boys.

Once Upon A Child will pay you 15-cents on the dollar (for whatever they will sell your clothing for), or 30-cents on the dollar for gear. If there's clothing and toys your kids have outgrown, bring it to Once Upon A Child. I've made $15 to $30 per drop-off, and I can cash out or take a store credit. At some OUAC locations, the store will donate items they are passing on to a local charity.

#4 Claim Cash Back On All Your Purchases

There are dozens of cash back shopping sites and apps that will pay you cash back for your online purchases. Retailers want more customers. They pay shopping reward sites like Swagbucks, Tada, or MyPoints a commission for sending them customers: you. When you make a purchase, the retailer pays a commission to Swagbucks. Swagbucks shares a portion of it with you: your cash back rebate.

Swagbucks has over 10,000 featured merchants that pay 1% to 20% (or more) in cash back rebates, including buybuy BABY, Carter's, Kohl's, Macy's, Hanna Andersson, Mini Boden, and more. You can install a free extension to your browser (in 20 seconds) to alert you when you're on a website offering cash back. With one click, your shop visit is tracked and the rewards get automatically applied.

Last year, I earned a little over $1,001 with cash back rebates from Swagbucks and other shopping reward sites.

#5 Follow Brands You Love

Follow brands you legitimately love on Instagram. Freebies and giveaways are not frequent, but they do happen. And while they're random, I've found that the more you engage with the brand (in authentic ways), the luckier you'll get.

I post pictures of my kids (maybe 3-4 times a month), and over the years I've received about $600 in free brand merchandise. Free as in absolutely free: no paying shipping or getting a special insider discount.

#6 Ask Facebook Garage Sale Groups

Facebook Garage Sale groups work differently than Buy Nothing groups. Here, people are selling things for cash (or Venmo or PayPal). Garage sale groups tend to be themed around certain neighborhoods or metro areas.

And while people sell her, people will list free items here too. I've seen people list free toys, free furniture, free pet gear, free kids' clothing, and much more. People place a lot of community-specific posts. Like news about lost dogs in the area, or info about where a child can get a free winter coat. These groups are a great place to look for free clothing, or ask if people have free clothing they're getting rid of.

Maybe you're in a pinch and you feel like you're advertising your poverty. Don't. People have all kinds of motivations for looking for freebies. For some, it's frugality. For others, it's because they believe in buying nothing and make sure items get a lot of love and wear so people are not over-consuming. Asking for free clothing doesn't say anything about your finances.

#7 Ask Friends and Family

I've asked friends and family for free clothing. As in, "Do you have any free kids' clothing you're looking to unload?"

I make it clear that there's a very strong chance I will consign the clothing afterwards in Facebook resale groups and on used clothing sites. I'm upfront.

People are eager to get rid of their children's outgrown clothing. They don't care that I'm going to re-list it. The attitude is, "Good for you! Go for it! I could never have the time or energy for that." I do offer to give a cut of the sales though.

#8 Don't Toss Your Receipts

Your receipts are money; do not toss them. There are dozens of great apps that will pay you for scanning your receipt. They'll pay you for buying specific items, or for purchasing any-brand items. Like any brand of apples or any brand of milk or eggs. With some receipt apps, you can get paid just for scanning the receipt itself.

Specific brand featured items usually pay $0.5o to $10. (To get $10, you may have to buy 4 boxes of an $8 product.) For the any-brand items, you usually earn a couple cents here and there. It all adds up. If you scan all your supermarket receipts, you can probably make an extra $200 to $300 a year.

Even if you purchased the items with WIC or gift cards or rewards credit cards, you can still claim the receipt app rewards.

Receipt scanning apps that I like are:

Upromise is a rewards app with a twist. You earn rewards for scanning receipts and taking surveys like Swagbucks and other reward apps, but the money you earn goes to your child’s 529 college savings plan. But you do have the option of just cashing out the funds with PayPal or a check instead. 


#9 Check Your Spam Folder

Check your email spam folder because it probably has some pretty solid promotional emails for your favorite stores and brands.

I used to just sign up to get email newsletters so I could get 10% to 15% off my first purchase. And then I'd basically ghost the retailer. Or at least their messages. But I've recently discovered how many great deals they send out. I've found invites to take surveys for Minted and Childhoods and other favorite brands in exchange for store credit and gift cards. I've found news about warehouse sales (rock bottom prices, folks) or special, super-cheap sales for 1-hour only.

#10 Take Surveys for Free Gift Cards

You can take online surveys on your phone or laptop in exchange for free gift cards and free PayPal cash. I like taking surveys in the evening as I wind down. I'll answer surveys while watching bingeing on Netflix. Paid surveys don't pay a ton (like $0.50 to $5.00 for most of them), but I'm just watching TV anyway. I like to fidget, and with paid surveys I feel like I'm getting paid to watch TV and fidget while wearing pajama pants.

I typically clear a couple thousand a year (that's $2.74 a day) with paid, online surveys.

Best Online Survey Sites

All of these online survey sites are free. Legit sites will never charge you for joining or ask for any bank information.

  • InboxDollars - cash out at $15 with PayPal or a gift card. Get a free $5 bonus just for signing up. Join InboxDollars.

  • Swagbucks - cash out at $1 to $3 with an Amazon gift card. Join Swagbucks.

  • MyPoints - cash out at $10 in earnings with PayPal or a gift card. Join MyPoints.

  • Upromise - earn rewards for your children's college savings. Rewards automatically go towards your child's college savings, or you can cash out with a check, PayPal, or gift card. Join Upromise.

  • Survey Junkie - cash out at $20 or higher with PayPal.

  • LifePoints - earn points for surveys, cash out with 2,405 life points (or $20).

#11 Reach out to Organizations Giving Away Free Clothes

There are a number of organizations you can reach out to for free clothing. Whether it's baby basics or outerwear for teens, where there's a need there's a group that can help. Coupon Cause proudly provides assistance to many of these nonprofits.

  • Community Clothes Closet: Provides free clothes for families in need. It's one of the easiest ways to get free clothing, as this organization partners with local schools and places of worship. Families can "shop" the free warehouse of donated goods, including winter wear, school clothes, and clothing for all settings. Find a Community Clothes Closet near you.

  • Salvation Army: Provides free clothing assistance for families in need. Visit a location, call, or check out their website. Find a nearby Salvation Army.

  • Catholic Charities: Provides clothing assistance for low-income families, as well as assistance with food, education, and job training. Find a Catholic Charities near you.

  • Must Ministries: Provides free clothing, including basic everyday staples like shoes, socks, underwear, undershirts, warm coats, work pants, and schoolwear. Check out the Must Ministries website.

  • St. Anthony's Free Clothing Program: Provides apparel for all occasions and free clothing vouchers. They have donated more than $3 million in free clothing and every year over 36,000 garments are distributed to 10,000 applicants. Check out the website for the St. Anthony Foundation.

  • The Pajama Project: Provides free clothing assistance to families with children 0 to 18 at home. This program is available almost everywhere, and they donate far more than just pajamas. Find your local chapter of The Pajama Project.

  • Local Community Action Centers: These agencies provide assistance to community members in need, and connect you with free clothing. Find your local community action center.