Clothing is one of those expenses that is unavoidable, right? I mean, you don’t necessarily have to have designer clothing, but you do need clothing.
Being the frugal person I am, I’m a firm believer that there’s always a way to get something for free – almost always. Luckily, clothing is one of those budget items you can get for free.
Yes, whether you’re completely content with clothing from Walmart (like me), or whether you insist on wearing the latest fashions and most popular name brands, there are ways you can get at least some – if not all – of your clothes for free.
I’m talking clothes for women, men and children as well. There are options for getting all of your family’s clothing and paying nothing to do so.
Check out these options for getting free clothes and see if any might work for you and your family.
Table of Contents
- 1. Earn Points You Can Use to Get Free Clothes
- 2. Use Referral Programs from Clothing Sites to Get Free Clothes
- 3. Search for Clothing Swaps
- 4. Check Craigslist and Other Sites
1. Earn Points You Can Use to Get Free Clothes
One way to get free clothing is to use one (or more) of the many programs out there that will pay you in points that can be converted into cash. You can then use that cash to buy clothing.
Some of these programs will offer the option of paying you in gift cards to your favorite stores as well. Here are some of the more popular ways people earn points (or direct cash) to buy clothing and other things.
Here’s how it works. When you download the Ibotta app, it’ll help you find cash back offers on things you buy every day. You simply search your favorite store, and Ibotta will show you all available cash back offers for that store.
I use Ibotta the most when I shop at Walmart. Before I go, I just check the app to see if they have cash back offers on any of the things I need to buy. Bonus: besides specific items, Ibotta will occasional offer cash back bonuses on things such as “any fruit purchase”, or “X cash back on any item”.
I love these little “extras” because I try and buy generic where I can, which means I can save with Ibotta even if I’m not buying name brand foods or other items.
When you find a cash back offer for something you need or want to buy, you simply click on the item and it deposits the coupon into your Ibotta wallet.
After you’re done shopping, all you have to do is scan the receipt scanner code with your Ibotta app and the app will automatically find the matching offers for items you’ve purchased.
The cash from the offers you’ve completed goes into your Ibotta account, and you can then transfer the money to your PayPal account and use it to buy free clothing wherever you want.
Bonus: Ibotta also gives sign up bonuses and referral bonuses as well. This makes it extra easy to get money for free clothes. In fact, in just my first two weeks with Ibotta I had already earned over $30.
Swagbucks is probably the easiest way to earn points to buy clothing. Swagbucks has paid out over $250 million to its members so far, so you know it’s legit. In fact, they give out over 7,000 gift cards every single day. With Swagbucks you can earn points in several ways.
- You can earn points by shopping
- You can earn by playing games
- You can earn by watching videos
- You can earn by completing surveys
- You can earn by searching the Net
And more. Swagbucks will also pay you for referring friends to sign up. After you earn your points, you can use those points to buy gift cards to your favorite stores.
Some of the stores they have gift cards available for include Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Sephora. You can even get a gift card for eBay with Swagbucks, and get even more clothes for free by buying used.
Or you can use your points to get a PayPal gift card or a Visa gift card and get cash to shop at whichever clothing stores you like best.
Swagbucks is probably one of the most popular ways to earn points to buy free clothes. Hint: They’ll give you $10 just for signing up so you can start earning cash for free clothing immediately.
Rakuten pays members cash back just for shopping. With Rakuten you can get up to 40% off at over 2,000 stores. All you have to do is shop through the Rakuten portal at stores you love.
Some of the stores Rakuten will pay you to shop at include:
- Walmart, Target and Amazon
- Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS
- Groupon, Office Depot and Staples
- Shutterfly, Snapfish and Hotels.com
And hundreds of others. Rakuten even has some stores that have recently doubled the amount of cash back you can earn by shopping. Some of these stores include Macy’s, Amazon, Groupon and others.
When you do your shopping through the Rakuten portal, your cash back bonuses go right into your Rakuten account. Rakuten then sends you a check or deposits your money to your Paypal account. It’s that simple.
The other option is to use the Rakuten browser extension. With this installed, you can skip the step of visiting the Rakuten website. The extension will show a popup whenever a website you visit is eligible to earn you cash back on your purchase. All you have to do is click the button in the popup to active Rakuten and earn cash back.
If you use Rakuten to do regular shopping you for things you were planning on buying anyway, you’re not wasting money. You can then use the cash back rebates to buy clothing for you and/or your family. And you can earn even more cash by signing up today (they’re offering a $10 sign up bonus) and by referring friends to join.
Survey Junkie pays you in points for completing surveys. For every survey you complete, you’ll earn a certain number of points. The point payouts vary based on the length and type of the survey.
Once you’ve earned those points you can redeem them for gift cards to dozens of different stores. You can also get money transferred to your PayPal account so you can shop for clothing whenever and wherever you’d like.
Survey Junkie will also pay you points when you refer friends and family members who sign up and use Survey Junkie.
2. Use Referral Programs from Clothing Sites to Get Free Clothes
Another way to get free clothes is by shopping at many of the online clothing stores. Not only will you be able to get clothing at super deep discounts, you can often earn cash for free clothes simply by referring friends to sign up.
Here are some of the online clothing sites that will pay you in cash or credits for the store when you refer friends, join or shop online.
Here’s how ThredUp works. You send your high quality clothing that you no longer want to ThredUp. When they receive it, they’ll assess it and give you a credit to ThredUp so you can get clothes for free.
You can also get credits for referring others to use ThredUp – up to $10 per referral. With ThredUp you’ll only find items in excellent condition, so you can be sure you’re getting quality clothing at a great price – especially if you get it for free by using store credits!
Rue La La
Rue La La offers up to 70% off of name brand clothing, accessories and more for women, men and children. This is a members’ only site, so you need to join to get the great deals, but it’s free to join.
How can you get free clothes with Rue La La? Simply by referring friends. For every friend you refer that makes a purchase, you’ll get a $10 Rue La La credit.
You can use those credits to get clothing for free on the site.
3. Search for Clothing Swaps
Clothing swaps are becoming more and more popular. You can find clothing swaps on Facebook or join online clothing swap sites. Or host your own clothing swap by listing items you want to get rid of and encouraging people to offer you items of their own for trade.
As an example, you can set up a clothing swap day with friends and family members who have kids with ages similar to yours.
Check out Rehash if you’re interested in shopping at an online clothing swap that’s already set up and ready to go.
Rehash allows you to list the clothes you have that you want to swap for something else. When you list, you can give specifics about what you want to trade for. Another option you have is to simply put “anything” in that section and see what kinds of offers come your way.
There aren’t any fees to join Rehash or to list or sell your items, however you may have to work out shipping plans and costs with other swappers.
4. Check Craigslist and Other Sites
Many times you’ll find people are giving away baby clothes, kids clothes, and men and women’s clothes just to make a quick declutter of their house.
When I checked our local Craigslist site I found someone giving away two bags of baby clothes, and another person giving away a garbage bag full of women’s clothing.
You might assume that people who give away clothing are only giving away stuff that’s not worth wearing, but that’s not necessarily the case.
When I lived in an affluent suburb (before we bought our hobby farm) people would often give away really nice clothing for free. Reason being is they didn’t need the money or want the hassle it would take to sell it.
It was just easier for them to put it all in a box and label it “free”.
Bonus tip: you can also get other free items from sites like these if they’re in decent shape. Then, sell them online and use the money to buy clothes at no cost to you.
There you have it; four popular and legit ways to get free clothes online. Now, here are some other tips for saving money on clothing that can help you spend less and save more.
Take Advantage of Sales and Clearance Racks
Whenever I go clothes shopping, the first place I check is the clearance rack and the sales ads. I’ve gotten amazing deals on clearance, such as the time I got my oldest daughter tennis shoes for just $2.00.
If you keep an eye out for super deep discounts you can save a ton of money on clothing.
Buy Smart with Interchangeable Clothing Pieces
Another way to save money on clothing is to buy smart. For instance, if you need clothing for work, you can buy 5 or 6 interchangeable items in basic colors.
As an example, you can buy basic black dress pants, and then 3 or 4 shirts to go with the pants. For kids you can be three pairs of pants and then three shirts that all go with each pair of pants.
This will be less expensive than buying complete outfits that can’t be interchanged.
Buy Out of Season
This is another tip that saves my family hundreds of dollars a year on clothing. I always try to buy out of season. I’ll buy swimsuits in the late summer or fall that will fit my kids the following summer. Or, I’ll buy winter coats in February that are a size too big and will fit us the following winter.
By buying out of season you can get clearance prices on things you and your family will wear eventually. You just won’t be able to wear them right away.
Shop at Garage Sales
If you know the right neighborhoods to shop in, you can get some stellar clothing deals at garage sales. Back in my old neighborhood, I had a neighbor who always dressed her kids in designer clothes. Bonus: she somehow managed to keep those clothes in pristine condition.
Every spring she’d hold a massive garage sale and sell all of the clothes her kids had outgrown. She earned a reputation and people flocked to her annual sale. They knew they’d get nice kids clothes at a great price.
Similarly, I had another friend who always bought name brand clothes. Once she was done with them she’d sell them dirt cheap. Like the time she sold a long leather coat for $10. Check out garage sales in your area and see if you can score some great finds for cheap.
There are many ways to get clothes for free or cheap if you’re willing to put in some legwork. What about you? Have you tried any of the ways above to get free clothes online?