Having a pet can really make your day-to-day life better (it’s hard to beat unconditional love from someone who can’t talk!), but it can also be expensive. From food to toys and healthcare (and boarding if you have to be away from home) the costs can add up. But with some savvy shopping strategies, you can save money on pet food and supplies and still make sure your furry or feathered BFF has everything they need.
1. Buy in bulk
Buying pet food and supplies in bulk can be a useful way to save money. Many pet stores (and online stores) offer discounts for buying larger quantities at once. Just make sure you have adequate storage to keep the items fresh and dry, and that your pet will consume it before it expires.
2. Look for sales and discounts
Keep an eye out for sales, promotions, and discounts from pet stores and online retailers. Sign up for newsletters or loyalty programs to get notifications of special offers.
3. Generic brands
Be sure to consider generic or store-brand pet food and supplies. These products often provide similar (or even the same) quality at a lower price compared to big-name brands, and your pet won’t care!
4. Online shopping
Shopping online can often be a good way to find better deals than in-store purchases. Look for websites that offer competitive prices and convenient delivery options (and always pay close attention to shipping costs—sometimes they’re high enough to cancel out any savings on the products!).
5. Join a rewards program
A lot of pet stores have loyalty or rewards programs that can save you money over time. These programs may offer discounts, cash back, or free products after you’ve made a certain number of purchases.
6. Coupons and promo codes
Keep an eye out for coupons and promo codes for pet stores or specific brands. You can find these in newspapers, online coupon websites, or through manufacturer websites.
7. Buy in season
Some pet supplies, like clothing or accessories, may go on sale when they’re out of season. Plan ahead and buy them when they’re marked down.
8. DIY grooming
Grooming your pet at home can save you a lot of money compared to paying for professional grooming services. Invest in quality grooming tools and learn basic grooming techniques; this can also be a good way to bond with your pet.
9. Homemade treats
Making your own pet treats can be a fun and easy way to save money. Many recipes are simple and use common kitchen ingredients, so you can also make sure that the treats you give your pet don’t have chemicals or other additives.
10. Compare prices
Don’t settle for the first pet store you visit. Compare prices across different stores and online retailers to find the best deals on the items you need.
11. Subscribe and save
Some online retailers offer discounts if you subscribe to orders of pet food and supplies. You can save money by scheduling regular deliveries.
12. Adopt don’t shop
If you’re planning to get a pet, consider adopting from a shelter or rescue organization. Adoption fees are typically far lower than purchasing from a breeder or pet store, and most of these pets come already spayed or neutered, and vaccinated. And there’s the added bonus of providing a loving home to a pet in need of one!
13. Preventive healthcare
Just like with humans, preventive healthcare—regular vet checkups—for pets is an excellent way to catch problems early and avoid costly treatments later.
14. Make your own toys
Create homemade pet toys from materials you have at home. Many pets enjoy simple items like cardboard boxes or even old socks, which can be turned into interactive playthings. (You’ll just want to be careful to avoid anything that might harm your pet if they swallow pieces of it.)
15. Share with friends
If you have friends or family with pets, consider going in together on bulk purchases to get discounts, so you don’t have to take on massive amounts of food or supplies that you might not be able to use on your own.
The bottom line: how to save on pet supplies
Using these tips, you can provide your pet with the care and supplies they need while keeping your budget under control. Remember that your pet’s well-being is the top priority, so make sure that any money-saving strategies you use don’t compromise their health or comfort.