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$241,080: That’s the average national cost of raising a child from birth to age 18, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Want to cut back during your little one’s first year? Check out these three tips from Candice Cerro, consumer savings expert at

ASK friends and family who already have kids and have gone through the process to help you build your baby registry. You’ll find out what you really need and end up saving time and money by picking only the essentials.

SHOP for furniture pieces that are convertible and will last beyond baby’s first year—like cribs that turn into toddler beds, or high chairs that become booster seats.

START a recycling fund. Recycle baby items like glass food jars or bottles (check with your local recycling center to make sure they accept them), and then put the money toward your next purchase.

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