Moving from one home to another typically involves many expenses. You can cut costs by using free moving boxes to keep your moving budget low. According to CostHelper, boxes can cost between $1 and $3 each, depending on size. When you factor in additional moving supplies, a moving kit for a one-bedroom apartment will cost roughly $70 to $90, and for a four-bedroom home, approximately $310–$400.

By obtaining used or free boxes, you’re saving yourself money and helping the environment, making it easier to pack a little at a time rather than rushing in the days leading up to your move. Here are five ways to get free moving boxes for your upcoming move.

1. Ask Family, Friends, Neighbors, and Colleagues

If you know anyone who has recently moved, they may still have their boxes stashed in their homes. Ask around to see if anyone has boxes; this could be a win-win for everyone; you get the materials you need for free, and your family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues are likely happy to unload them.

2. Grocery Stores and Liquor Stores

Grocery and liquor stores often have some of the sturdiest boxes around since they are constructed to hold heavier items (e.g., cans and bottles). Go around town to ask local merchants if they can coordinate giving away boxes on their shipment days. Most managers are happy to have someone take boxes off their hands because it saves them time and money because employees won’t need to break them up for recycling.

3. Check Online for Free Box Opportunities

It may or may not surprise you to learn that there are numerous ways to obtain free (or at least cheap) moving boxes by searching the internet. Start by searching early in the week since most people tend to move on weekends and will list boxes after they unpack. Top websites and apps you can often nab free boxes include:

  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Community Groups
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • OfferUp
  • Letgo
  • Freecycle
  • Nextdoor

If you don’t see anyone posting free boxes to give away, try placing your own request. You never know who might see it and decide they want to declutter their basements, closets, attics, or garages that are full of boxes.

4. Moving Companies

Many moving companies offer gently used boxes at discounts. This is a good option even with a small charge since you can rest assured knowing the boxes are sturdy, durable, and designed explicitly for household moves.

5. Big Box Stores

You might score great boxes at local chains and big box stores. Good places to check with a manager include Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Walgreens, and CVS. Check out local dollar and pet stores as well.

Ready to Plan Your Upcoming Move?

Packing is an essential piece of the moving process. Obtaining free boxes in the months and weeks before your move can save on costs and reduce stress. Before taking any free boxes, carefully examine them before bringing them home. Check each one to ensure they are sturdy, damage-free, and contain no hitchhiking pests.