Just like how looking at a total paid during a mortgage or a car loan can be sobering, this is no small sum.  Of course family is everything and you find a way, but this is still interesting. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost per child for the essentials from birth through age 17 is $369,360 per child.  That figure does not include the cost of college and things like toys and sporting goods.

Clothing active growing kids is one of the most costly essentials facing families.  It’s bad enough that kids will eventually outgrow their clothes and shoes but nothing is more frustrating to parents than having their kids wear out clothing before they out grow them.  To address that issue, Sears is offering a new program called the KidVantage Club program, which includes clothes from Lands’ End. It allows you to exchange any clothes or shoes purchased from Sears through the program that wear out before they’re out grown.