If you want to see your grocery bill inflate, simply throw a few dogs or cats into the mix. Feeding your four-legged friends can take a significant bite out of your budget, particularly if you are buying premium foods or have a couple jumbo-sized dogs in the house.
Fortunately, food savings aren’t just for humans. You can also get a good deal on cat and dog food using these tips.
Combine coupons with sales
If you buy the big brands like Purina, Pedigree and Iams, you’ll probably get the best deal by combining store sales with coupons. You can find pet food coupons in newspaper inserts, on ‘peelies’ affixed to bags in the store or online at Facebook or brand websites. We maintain a comprehensive database of coupons at SavingsAngel.com, and our Price Watcher feature can alert you to the best deals in your area.
Check for rebates
Another option is to find rebates for dog and cat food. In particular, look for ‘Try Me Free’ rebates that will refund the entire purchase price. For example, we’ve seen these rebates from Science Diet when they have introduced a new formulation, and Hill’s is currently offering a Try Me Free rebate for its Ideal Balance food. You can find the rebate form on the Hill’s website at hillspet.com.
Look for rewards programs
Rewards programs are offered both by pet food brands and pet food retailers. Frequent buyer or frequent feeder programs are available for premium brands such as Nutro, Innova and Natura. Typically, these programs offer a free bag or case of cans after a certain number of purchases. Since many retailers track your purchases for you, these are easy programs to use.
Another option is store-specific rewards programs. These include Petco Pals and PetSmart PetPerks among others. These programs generally offer discounts that can be used on any pet food brand or other pet products.
Buy bigger bags
Buying in bulk almost always offers better value than buying small bags. Calculate the price per pound to double check before making a purchase. Then, buy the biggest bag you think your cat or dog can eat before the expiration date rolls around.
Check out the store brands
Don’t automatically dismiss store brands. While some may be substandard, others get high marks for offering excellent nutrition. I know some people who have memberships to Costco specifically to buy the store’s Kirkland dog food. Compare the ingredients and nutrition label of your favorite brand to the store brands to find out if you can get the same quality food at a lower price.
Watch out for deals that aren’t really deals
Finally, don’t be swayed by ‘deals’ at online retailers that really aren’t deals at all. A 2011 Consumer Reports analysis found online retailers charge 50 percent more than Target or Walmart, and that didn’t even include shipping.
Our review of pet food prices supports that finding. Last week, you could buy a 16 pound bag of Cat Chow Complete from Target for $10.99 when you combined a sale with a coupon. That same bag of cat food is, at the time of this writing, listed on Amazon for $18.99 and PetFoodDirect for $20.49. While PetFoodDirect offers a 15 percent discount for automatic shipments, that still leaves you paying $17.42.
In addition, as you decide what to feed your four-legged family member, remember to not only look at the price of the bag but consider how much food it will take to feed your pet. Some bargain basement brands may be largely filler which means your pets might end up eating more than they would of a higher quality brand.
In the end, whether you choose super premium foods or basic chow, remember there are plenty of ways to save on kibble of all kinds. What is your favorite way to get the best pet food at the best price?
If you hate couponing, you’ll LOVE SavingsAngel. If you love couponing, you’ll LOVE SavingsAngel.
The best couponers save hundreds of dollars every month at the grocery store. However, extreme couponers can end up living very extreme lifestyles to get those savings. For over five years, SavingsAngel.com has equalized the playing field – giving extreme savings to busy families who don’t have the time or ability to be an extreme couponer. Each week, SavingsAngel.com’s over 70 angels combine over 2,000 products on sale at local grocery and drug stores with an enormous database of over 2000 different manufacturer coupons. These combinations result in our members getting access to over 300 products each week for 50% off or better. Simply log in, choose the deals you want, print or clip only the coupons you need, and save hundreds of dollars a month at regional and national stores. Our angels will personally work with you to craft a plan that will help you buy healthier food at lower prices – helping you keep $200 to $400 in savings each month.
Josh Elledge is the Chief Executive “Angel” of SavingsAngel, Inc. – launched from his home in January 2007. A husband and father of three, he now appears each week on television, in eight newspapers, and a number of radio stations across the country teaching families how to cut their grocery bill in half using the Internet. Elledge created the technology found on SavingsAngel.com through the need to save his own family’s money. Successfully able to cut his own grocery bill from $600 a month to less than $300 a month, his message has reached hundreds of thousands of families. SavingsAngel.com is now growing rapidly throughout the country. You can watch a short video at SavingsAngel.com that will explain more information about how to cut your own grocery bill in half with the help of SavingsAngel.com!