The cost of raising a child in today's economy seems to rise substantially year after year. Kids have a lot of needs that extend well beyond three squares and a cot; there's clothing and food, lessons and toys, medical care and a college savings plan. And it all adds up quickly. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it will cost the average, middle class family about $222,360 to raise a single child who was born in 2009 from birth to age 18. That's a whole lot of dough for a figure that doesn't even include college.
Sure, it's nice to have those additional tax credits, but ultimately, they don't make much of a dent in that whopper of a total. Fortunately, there are ways to cut down on some child-related expenses. Here are five ideas you can put into play.