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How to Save Money on Pet Food Without Sacrificing Quality?

by Mr. Maximus Kiehn
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budget pet products

Discover 12 clever tips for saving money on quality pet food, including checking circulars, buying in bulk, using coupons, and switching formulas or proteins.

As a pet owner, you want to provide the best care for your furry friend. However, high-quality budget pet products or food can get expensive, especially when buying from premium brands. 

The good news is that with some budget pet products shopping tips, you can still save money without sacrificing nutrition. This article will teach you how to get bargains on pet food while keeping your cat or dog happy and healthy.

Check Your Local Stores for Sales

Start saving on pet supplies by looking for in-store sales and specials at your local pet retail chains. Stores like PetSmart, Petco, and Pet Supplies Plus often discount food, treats, toys, and other essentials. Subscribe to their email newsletters so you never miss a deal.

You can also find marked-down pet items at large retailers like Target and Walmart. Check the aisles for bright sales tags highlighting discounts. 

Sometimes you’ll see even steeper markdowns on soon-to-expire bags. As long as you can use the food promptly, this can mean huge savings.

Buy in Bulk When Items Are On Sale

Another way to capitalize on bargains is to buy in bulk when pet foods go on sale. This strategy allows you to stock up on staples at a fraction of the full price. Opt for large bags rather than smaller pouches to get even better bulk value.

Just be sure to check expiration or “best by” dates first. Canned and bagged pet food generally lasts 6-12 months unopened. You’ll want to calculate how much you can use before it goes bad. Pro tip: Store unopened bags in rubbish containers to preserve freshness for as long as possible.

Look for Coupons and Loyalty Rewards

From weekly flyers to mobile apps, coupons make saving simple. Check coupon sites and forums for the latest deals before shopping in-store or online. You can often pair these with sales for extra savings.

Loyalty programs also give back through pet perks. Petco’s Pals Rewards members earn $5 rewards for every $100 spent. Sign up for frequent buyer clubs and birthday clubs too. Every little bit of savings counts when you own pets long-term.

Buy Affordable Alternatives to Premium Brands

Veterinarians often suggest pricier prescriptions and premium pet foods. However, not every dog or cat needs this level of nutrition. First, ask your vet if more affordable alternatives could still provide balanced nutrition for your pet.

Store brands like Whole Earth Farms at Petco or Authority at PetSmart offer quality ingredients at a fraction of the premium brand prices. Chewy’s house brand, American Journey, is another budget-friendly option vets recommend.

If your pet needs a specific formula or you prefer sticking with a premium brand, look for ways to save on those too. Buy in larger quantities, use coupons, and shop sales cycles to cut costs.

budget pet products

Compare Prices at Different Retailers

One overlooked way to save money on pet supplies is simply comparing prices across stores. Thanks to online shopping, pricing research is easier than ever these days. Start by making a list of preferred pet foods and treat brands your furry friend enjoys. 

Then visit websites for PetSmart, Petco, Chewy, Amazon, and other major pet retailers. Make note of prices for identical products across sellers.

Often, Chewy or Amazon offers the lowest prices due to discounts and subscription plans. However, smaller e-tailers can boast bargains too. Price matching guarantees at chains like Petco and PetSmart also help you get items for less.

Consider Switching Food Formulas or Flavors

While you shouldn’t drastically change your pet’s diet, moderate formula or flavor switches can net savings. For example, the salmon and rice recipe may cost more than chicken and rice despite nearly identical nutrition.

Gradually transition food types over 7-10 days by mixing in more of the new formula each day. This gives your pet’s stomach time to adjust. Keep an eye out for any digestion issues.

You can also save by opting for size-appropriate food instead of breed-specific ones. For example, Petco’s Whole Hearted line offers identical recipes for All Life Stages rather than splitting up Small Breed and Large Breed formulas.

Choose Less Popular Proteins and Carbs

Following the previous tip, selecting less mainstream protein sources and carbs generally equals cheaper pet food. Chicken and rice combinations dominate the market — and with popularity comes higher prices.

Trying proteins like turkey, salmon, venison, or duck can prove gentler on your wallet. Swapping in grains like barley, millet, or sorghum instead of pricier rice delivers similar carbohydrate nutrition. Just transition gradually between old and new foods.

Weigh Quantity Needs Against Package Size

One non-obvious place pet owners waste money is buying sizes misaligned with actual pet food usage. A massive 30-lb bag seems like a great deal — until half of it expires before you can use it up. 

On the other hand, small 4 lb portions make sense for toy breeds but prove pricier for big dogs. Take the time to measure out how much kibble your pet eats daily accurately. 

This makes selecting a package size that reduces waste easier yet still nets a bulk discount. For example, a medium-sized dog that eats 4 cups daily would take about 80 days to finish a 30 lb bag.

Sign Up for Automatic Reorders and Subscriptions

Another way to save time and money is by signing up for automatic reorders of your pet’s preferred foods. Retailers like Chewy and Amazon offer subscription services that deliver items right to your door before you run out.

Auto-ship plans come with perks too. Subscribers can save 5-10% on every order compared to one-time purchases. Chewy’s auto ship service also lets you customize the delivery frequency and tailor portions to your pet’s unique needs.

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