How To Save Money On Pet Care



save money on pet care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Save Money on Pet Care

That’s a picture of my cat Spitfire when he was just a baby kitten. Isn’t he cute? Five years later, Spitfire is the size of a medium dog and weighs approximately 25 lbs. He’s part Maine Coon and that breed tends to run on the large size. Spitfire’s a healthy eater which means a good portion of my budget goes toward cat food. Then there’s the cat litter, toys, grooming supplies, and annual veterinary check-ups. Did I mention that I have four other cats? So how do I budget the care of five cats on my fixed income? I’m going to tell you exactly how I do it.

Freebies

Many pet food companies like to distribute free samples when a product  is first released. I find that companies frequently use Facebook for free sample promotions. Because of this, I try to make a weekly visit to each company’s Facebook page to see if they have any upcoming promotions. I also visit Wal-Mart and Target’s online sample sites as they frequently distribute samples as well. Freebies may not sound like much but they do add up.

Coupons and Sales

The Sunday newspaper is a good source of coupons. I have the paper delivered on Sundays so I always have access to the coupons and sale circulars. If there is a particular pet product coupon in the newspaper that will save me $3 or more, I invest in more newspapers. Spending another $1 to save $3 or more makes sense. I also find coupons online. I keep a page here on the blog that regularly updates with the most recent coupons. If I do find a pet coupon, I print on recycled paper and I always use the ink saver setting.

Once I have my coupons, I read my favorite local blogs for the latest coupon match-ups. This not only saves me money, but time. I also read The Coupon Mom’s site as she lists Extreme Drug Store Deals. Sometimes, there’s an extreme deal for pet food. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, I like to know about it so I can stock up. In my opinion,  Walgreen’s is the best drugstore for finding extreme deals.

Warehouse Shopping: Buy in bulk

The top three warehouse stores are Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s. There may be other warehouse stores depending on where you live but here in my area, those three are it. I prefer shopping at BJ’s because not only do they distribute store coupons but they also accept manufacturer’s coupons. That means I can stack a BJ’s cat litter coupon with a manufacture’s coupon for that particular brand. Yes, there’s the cost of membership but I found that my membership was paid for in savings by the 3rd month of use. At BJ’s, I can stock up on cat food {wet and dry}, cat litter, and other pet products all at a reduced cost. For example, after coupons and warehouse savings, I paid around $8 for a 30 lb. bag of Purina ONE dry cat food. In comparison, a 8 lb. bag usually runs around $8 at Target and Wal-Mart.

Order Online and Subscribe and Save

Many online stores offer a subscribe and save option when ordering pet supplies. This means that if you set up regular delivery of a certain product, you can save an additional 10-30% {varies by store}. Spitfire currently requires a special prescription cat food {which is quite expensive} but by setting up subscribe and save, I save an additional $5 on his food plus I receive free shipping.

One product that I would rather order online is cat litter. Trying to lug a huge bag of cat litter in and out of the car is virtually impossible for me. Ordering online is much easier and prices are usually lower than store prices. I have Amazon Prime so an order from Amazon.com includes free shipping, even if it is a 30 lb bag of cat litter.

If you need affordable flea medications, heart worm pills, or grooming items, I recommend checking Amazon.com’s prices first and then the following online pet supply companies:

1-800-Pet-Meds



You can also order pet food from PetFoodDirect.com. They have a subscribe and save program as well.

Pet Rewards Programs

Many pet store chains have rewards programs that you can enroll in for free. This usually entitles you to an additional percentage off of your purchase {varies by store}. Also, some programs reward you with a free bag of pet food after you’ve purchased x amount of bags. If you regularly shop at that store, the free rewards program is worth it. If you have to spend money, you might as well earn a bonus along the way {that free bag}.

Here is the direct link to Petco’s Pals Rewards program and PetSmart’s PetPerks program and Pet Supermarket’s VIP program.  Make sure that you include your email address when you register because each rewards program randomly emails out bonus coupons that often include freebies.

Veterinary Care and Medication 

If you’ve taken your pet to the veterinarian lately, you know how expensive it can be. Last year, Spitfire contracted a urinary tract infection that I knew required an antibiotic. Instead of immediately taking him to our regular veterinarian, I Googled “free pet exam + my city, state.” I came across this special offer from Banfield Pet Hospital. The coupon I found entitled Spitfire to a free office visit at a local Banfield location. At checkout, my total price for Spitfire’s office visit + exam + antibiotic cost me a total of $10.00. Yep, only $10. An alternative would have been asking for a prescription and taking it to Walmart or my local grocery store where antibiotics {even pet prescriptions}cost $4.00. I opted not to do this because I did not want to make an additional stop with Spitfire in his cat carrier meowing his head off ;)

In most states, the only vaccine required by law is the rabies vaccination. Many local humane societies and shelters offer low-cost or no cost rabies clinics. Phone your local shelter to see if they participate. If they do not offer such a service, they may be able to refer you to a place that does.

Urgent or Emergency Care Resources

If you’re having difficulty affording pet care, or an emergency has arisen that you can’t afford, please refer to the Humane Society’s Resource Page for assistance.

Low Cost Spay and Neuter

I adopted my cat Gracie from a shelter out of state. When I picked her up, she was not spayed. When I got her back to Virginia,  I had to find a local and affordable place to get her spayed. Side note:  I’m a HUGE advocate for spaying and neutering all pets. There is a pet overpopulation problem in this country. While researching, I discovered a national website that lists all of the low cost spay and neuter programs in whatever area you live in. You can search by zip code or city and state. The average cost of a spay and neuter at a veterinary hospital is $400.  If you go through a low cost program, you can have your pet receive the same services for under $100.

While this is not an exhaustive list of all the ways  you can save money on pet care, I hope that you find some of the information useful. Spitfire thanks you for stopping by and reminds you to spay or neuter your pets!

How do you save money on pet care? 

 

Comments

  1. says

    These are some great ways to save money on pets! While I don’t live close enough to a warehouse store to make that a viable option for me, I should probably look into an Amazon Prime membership and start making some purchases that way. Thanks for sharing!

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