Getting Kids Clothes Cheap or Free: 25+ Used Clothing Tips For Kids

Save money on kids clothes by finding them for free or cheap.

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If you want to find kids’ clothes cheap, our Used Clothing Tips for Kids Page will help.

Check out this growing list of money-saving tips from Steve & Annette and our readers to help you save on clothing for your children! 

25+ Winning Quick Tips for Saving Money on Kids’ Clothes

Buying Used Clothing Tips for Kids/ Used Clothes/ Kids Clothes/ Preowned Clothing/ Clothes for Teens

1. Shop during off-season sales:

Purchase clothes for the next season during end-of-season sales when prices are heavily discounted. Annette was really good at this. As a result, we spent very little on kids’ clothes.

2. Buy second-hand clothes:

Explore thrift stores, consignment shops, or online platforms for gently used kids’ clothing at a fraction of the cost. Garage sales can be a real treasure trove of infant and baby clothes for pennies per piece.

3. Host or participate in clothing swaps:

Organize clothing swap events with other parents to exchange clothes your kids have outgrown but are still in good condition. We knew a couple of families whose kids were a little older than ours. They would regularly drop off a trashbag full of outgrown clothes for us to go thru. It was a real blessing.

4. Check out Online Platforms

Poshmark: Poshmark is a social commerce platform where individuals can buy and sell new or gently used clothing, including kids’ clothes. It offers a wide range of brands and styles, and you can negotiate prices directly with sellers.

Mercari: A user-friendly online marketplace for buying and selling new or gently used kids’ clothes, offering a wide selection at affordable prices.

thredUP: thredUP is an online consignment and thrift store that specializes in second-hand clothing. They have a dedicated section for kids’ clothing, making it easy to find affordable options from popular brands.

eBay: eBay is a well-known online marketplace where individuals can sell a variety of products, including kids’ clothes. You can find both new and used items, and you have the option to bid on auctions or purchase items directly.

Facebook Marketplace: Facebook Marketplace is a platform within Facebook where people can buy and sell various items, including kids’ clothes. It allows you to filter listings by location, making it convenient for finding local sellers.

Kidizen: Kidizen is a marketplace specifically designed for buying and selling kids’ clothes. It offers a wide selection of gently used clothing from various brands and allows you to interact with other parents within the community.

5. Stick to a budget:

Set a clothing budget for your kids and try to stick to it. This helps you prioritize your purchases and avoid unnecessary spending.

When our kids were still at home we paid them an “allowance” through our payday system. One of the categories they had in their “budget envelopes” was clothes. Between the ages of 9 and 11, they started to buy their own clothes with money they earned from us.

6. Avoid trendy items:

Opt for classic styles and basic clothing pieces that can be mixed and matched. Trendy items tend to have a shorter lifespan and may require more frequent replacement. This is a universal rule … unless you have parents or grandparents who want to pay for some “extravagant” clothing items.

7. Consider gender-neutral options:

Choosing gender-neutral clothing allows you to reuse items between siblings or pass them on to others without limiting their wearability. This is particularly useful in the infant and toddler stages.

8. Repurpose and upcycle:

Get creative and repurpose old clothes by turning them into something new. You do this easily by using outgrown T-shirts as pajamas or transforming worn-out jeans into shorts.

9. Take care of clothes:

Properly care for your children’s clothes by following washing instructions. This can extend their lifespan and reduce the need for frequent replacements.

And get your kids involved, as young as possible, in helping with the laundry. By the time they are teenagers, you’ll be grateful that you did.

10. Shop at discount retailers:

Explore stores that offer lower-priced clothing options, such as outlet stores, discount chains, or online marketplaces. Sometimes you can find better discounts from high-end stores discount racks … just be careful of impulse buying full-priced items.

11. Utilize hand-me-downs:

Accept hand-me-downs from friends and family who have children older than yours. This can be a great way to acquire clothes for free or at a significantly reduced cost.

We stored the best quality clothes that our older kids had outgrown in bankers’ boxes (sorted by size and gender). They were stacked in our garage, ready when the next child in line grew into that size.

12. Teach kids to care for their clothes:

Educate your children about the importance of taking care of their clothes to minimize wear and tear, helping the garments last longer. If they are paying for their own clothes, they will take better care of them. And if they are doing their own laundry, they’ll be more aware of getting stains.

13. Sell Outgrown Clothes

Maximize your budget by selling your child’s outgrown clothes on Kidizen, a Poshmark-like app, and use the funds earned to purchase “new” items for them.

Now for some MoneySaving Tips on Kids’ Clothes for Readers around the country.

14. Kids Blue Jean Tips

When buying kids’ clothes, I always buy things with elastic waistbands. For blue jeans, during the summer, I buy them a size bigger than needed, so they will fit in the fall or winter. If the knees wear out faster than the rest of the jeans, patch them with some leftover fabric from prior jeans. Once spring comes, take the pants and cut them into shorts and hem.

Smart Mom's Blue Jean Tips for Kids!

Once they are outgrown, hand them down to a younger sibling. If the jeans are from a girl, it’s very easy to turn them into a skirt. I usually pay a dollar a pair of pants at yard sales.

Save worn-out blue jean fabric and use that for patches. Blue jeans, dungarees, or denim pants can also be found at thrift stores or rummage sales for pennies on the dollar.  Martina Sanderson – Columbus, OH

16. Buy, Consign, Sell, and Swap

Here are some great used clothing tips to help you find clothes for your kids cheaper. We have a newborn and BOY (pun intended) does he go through clothes FAST! We always go to Goodwill’s half-off days and pick out the best, cutest stuff for him to wear.

Then after he outgrows the clothes, I consign what I can (for store credit) and sell the rest on Craigslist. Whatever I have left I take to a clothing swap and trade my stuff for new stuff! The clothing swap isn’t always a guarantee but it’s fun and I usually end up with at least two or three things I love.   Jeannie Gibson – USA

17. Spread the Word & Pass it On

I have been blessed by a great number of women at my church.  We have formed somewhat of an informal clothes trading ring for hand-me-downs. I get clothes for my kids that they can grow into and when my kids grow out of things, they are in turn passed along to other moms. (We also do the same with toys!).

I don’t know about you, but all the women involved love to see the favorite outfit that Junior outgrew, much too fast, being enjoyed by another child. I think that in this the children can learn that there is no shame in wearing hand-me-downs (or as I like to call them, “new-to-me’s”).

It is also the way that the Lord provides for us as a one-income family (my husband is a public school teacher) and we, in turn, can help bless others. It’s also helpful to keep Papa & Nana informed of the current sizes that the kids are wearing — especially if they are the kind of grandparents that occasionally buy your kids clothes.

I also enlist the help of my mother — she is a hardcore secondhand shopper — if I am currently shopping for something specific, but not able to find it in my favorite haunts.   Jeannie Ziebell (mom of triplets) – Mesa, AZ

18. Used Clothing Tips for Kids Not Embarrassing!

Here’s how I get clothes for my kids cheaper than other moms.

We were out shopping for back-to-school clothes when I decided to pop into a local thrift store. My son was not pleased, but went along with his crazy mom!

Well, lo and behold there was a pair of jeans just my son’s size! I convinced him to try them on and they fit perfectly. Best of all, they were only 3 dollars!

When we went to pay for them I discovered they wouldn’t accept checks. So I dug around in my purse for 3 dollars in change. The last dollar was in pennies — He-He — the cashier didn’t mind and neither did I, but my son could have died from embarrassment!   Helen McMillen – USA

19. Plato’s Closet – Clothes for Teens and Twenty-Somethings

My teenage daughter loves shopping at Plato’s Closet. It is a teen resale shop that only carries name-brand clothes like Hollister, Abercrombie, and Aeropostale. They are located in many states. They are a bit more expensive than a regular resale shop or garage sales, but it is full of clothes all teens would love to wear.

My daughter bought $80 jeans for $12. Our used clothing tips for kids mantra is to let someone else pay full price! Another great thing is they will buy name-brand stuff on the spot from you which means cash in your pocket. We checked out Plato’s Closet website. It looks good. Over 200 franchise locations across the US. Find a Plato’s Closet near you.  Denise-USA

20. Multiply Your Yard Sale Clothing Deals

I have a trick that I use to get my kid’s clothes really cheap. Whenever I go to yard sales and they have children’s clothes and are doing “bag” sales ($1 to fill the bag) I buy up most of the kids’ clothes that are in good shape.

Then I take them home and sort through them and see if there is anything that will fit my granddaughter. If not, I take the rest to a kid-to-kid location and trade them in for store credit and then I can take my granddaughter shopping there for the clothes she needs. I did that the other day. I spent $4 and got $40 in store credit to spend.   Tonya Music – USA 

21. Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

My children seem like they always need shoes! Also, I am a recent newbie to your website. And, I have been blessed with triplets. They are 3 1/2 years old and always in need of some type of clothing. I need to be able to find clothes for them really inexpensively.

Recently I just went through the “Mommy, my shoes are too small” syndrome. Since I like to have extra shoes for the kids so the same ones are not worn every day (yes, they tend to have very sweaty and somewhat stinky feet!) I buy one new pair — almost always on sale — and the rest I find in 2nd hand stores or see if the cousins are ready to hand some down.

More Used Shoes

The other day I found four pairs of shoes for less than $19. Most of the 2nd hand shoes are in pretty good shape since kids at this age tend to outgrow the shoes before wearing them out. If I find a pair that is a bit dirty but in good repair, I hit them with a dose of Lysol and then throw them in the washing machine.   Jeanne Ziebell – Mesa, AZ

22. Just Between Friends

Just Between Friends Consignment sales.  It’s a great way to make cash for stuff that your little one or yourself has outgrown/doesn’t use anymore. Check out their website, they have locations in many cities across the U.S.   Jamie Funk – Cocoa, FL

23. Cashing in in Garage Sale Finds

I like to garage sale — I often buy clothes for my children, Christmas gifts, etc. this way. It’s a frugal way to get great things for less money.

Last year, I found a way to make going to garage sales even more profitable. I can buy children’s and infant clothes and toys (only in excellent condition) often for about a quarter. Then I resell them at a local semi-annual children’s consignment sale. At this sale, clothes sell for 1/3 to 1/2 of the retail price — so I can easily get $5 or more for a pair of children’s jeans purchased for a quarter. I get to keep 65% of the sale price, and the remainder is donated to charity.

I’m making money and contributing to charity! Amy Davis – Omaha, NE

24. Hand-Me-Downs and Freecycle

My little tip for getting kids’ clothes cheaper is to accept and pass on hand-me-downs.

I saved every piece of clothing from my first son. Five years later I had my second one and here I am, using all the old clothes. I am now saving baby’s clothes that don’t fit him anymore to give out to a friend who is expecting.

By the way, I am not selling or donating because I received lots of hand-me-downs for my first one, so I am sharing in kind. My favorite group is Freecycle! I’ve gotten lots of toys for my kids that way and when possible, I give things away, too. Karina Kawaguchi – Montreal, QC, Canada

25. Easy Way to Find New Thrift Stores Near You

If you’re new to an area or just looking for a new treasure trove – check out You’ll find tons of resources for cheap clothing in your area.

Over the years they have compiled a listing of more than 12,000 thrift stores with more than 4000 reviews written by shoppers like you and me. They even provide a satisfaction ranking on a scale of 1 to 5.

26. Saving Huge on Back To School Clothes for 4 Kids

The national average for buying grade school kids Back to School Clothes is about $300 per child. This includes all clothing and shoes.

(It’s hard for us to imagine spending this much on our whole family!)

We took our kids (and one friend) shopping at Savers Thrift Department Store for an hour and a half of bargain-hunting for back-to-school clothes. The results were stunning.

Abbey Economides dressed in clothes that she purchased from Savers, holding a price tag.
Abbey Economides dressed in clothes that she purchased from Savers, holding a price tag.

Each of the kids found several complete outfits at that time. Roy’s outfit (L.L. Bean jeans and a Quicksilver Tee shirt) retailed for over $60 and was purchased for just $5. All of the clothes you see the kids wearing in this photo were purchased at Savers.

The most expensive outfit . . . just $12 for jeans, a top and a sweater. That’s a real deal, but what makes it even better is that this whole trip didn’t cost us (Annette and Steve) a penny (read more below these photos).

Fox10 News reporter Diane Ryan stands with the Economides Family at Savers in Phoenix, AZ.

Pictured from left to right: Lauren (Abbey’s best friend, Joe, Abbey, Diane Ryan, Annette, Steve, Roy and Becky. We’re all standing inside one of our favorite thrift stores — Savers.

Joe Economides holding a price tag and dressed in thrift store clothes with a shirt that says "Joe Cool."

That’s right, the kids use their own money to buy their clothes. Our kids start paying for their own clothes at age 11. To learn more about this system read about our MoneySmart Kids Training Program.

Visit where you can search by zip code for thrift stores in your area.

Watch the video below:

More cheap kids’ clothes resources

Check out our Miscellaneous Clothing Tips page for more great ideas!

For more ideas on Used Clothing Tips for Kids, consider our first book, America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money. It has an entire chapter on how to dress your family nicely and affordably.

If you have a tip to help save money on used clothing for kids, please leave it in the comments below.

5 thoughts on “Getting Kids Clothes Cheap or Free: 25+ Used Clothing Tips For Kids

  1. Alex

    All of my kid’s clothes now come from eBay, love it..just bring home, wash and dry…have beautiful pieces and love to tell other ladies about my finds and sometimes I get more savings with ebay coupon code 2019 –I am a fashion person, so why pay more to look good! 😉

  2. Ruth Ohlemeyer

    Don’t be in a rush to put your son in Men’s clothes…the larger boys sizes are generally equivalent, but cost much less. My son goes to a private high school, and must wear suit coats, and found a whole bunch at Once Upon A Child, and also on eBay, for less than 25.00 each…brand new equivalent men’s sizes were at least $79.99 at Burlington…sheesh!!

  3. Judy

    My son was friendly with a girl. He has an older sister and she has an older brother. My son got her son’s clothes and she got my daughter’s. The best things we traded were winter jackets. It worked out so well for both of us.

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