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How to feed your pets on a budget

With inflation at a 40-year high, prices are going up everywhere you look. This includes in the pet food aisle. The higher cost of dog and cat food can put stress on your finances, but there are strategic moves you can make to save money. Whether you have one pet or multiple, these money-saving tips and items are aimed at reducing your pet-food costs.

How to shop for pet food and save

In the past, you might have spent more freely on your pets. However, saving wherever you can is more important than ever. Here are a few key ways to cut costs while still pampering your furry friends at mealtimes. 

Shop online

Many online retailers that sell pet products offer competitive prices. That’s why there’s a good chance that the costs of your favorite pet food brands are lower from online sellers than what you’ll pay at brick-and-mortar stores. 

Comparison shop

Whether you are transitioning to shopping online for cat food and dog food or have been buying online for years, it’s important not to buy from the first shop you visit. The best strategy for savings is to compare the prices of your favorite pet food brands on different sites to catch the best deals. 

Buy in bulk

Both dry and wet pet food is more affordable when purchased in bulk. This is especially ideal for owners of multiple pets. It also saves money when feeding canned food.

Keep your pet’s food fresh

If you’ve ever accidentally left a bag of pet food open, you’ve probably noticed that the food gets stale quickly. Many cats and dogs will refuse to eat food that’s become stale from exposure to air. The result is wasted food. 

You can easily prevent this from happening by closing bags tightly. Use a durable clip if necessary. Another option is to pour dry kibble into airtight pet food storage containers. If you feed your cat or dog wet canned food, you can easily seal in freshness with a reusable lid. Another option is to transfer it to an airtight container.

Try an auto-ship membership 

Online pet food retailers such as Chewy and Petsmart have the option to buy your pet food and other supplies via auto-ship. With this type of membership, you choose your items and the frequency you want to receive them, and you’ll get a discount off the usual price. Additionally, a generous percentage off is typically offered for first-time auto-ship members. There’s no additional cost to sign up for auto-ship, and the service can be canceled at any time. 

Don’t overfeed your cat or dog

Not only does overfeeding your pets waste food unnecessarily, but it’s also unhealthy for them. By following the dietary recommendations for your cat or dog based on weight, age, breed or veterinarian advice, you’ll save and protect your pet’s health. Additionally, most pet foods have feeding guidelines on the packaging. Using a measuring scoop or cup will ensure you feed the correct amount. 

Look for coupons 

Money-saving coupons are often available online and can be found using coupon apps and browser extensions. What’s more, some online retailers offer a significant discount to first-time shoppers. 

Take advantage of free shipping

Just because you choose to have your pet supplies shipped to your home doesn’t mean you’ll have shipping costs. Most sellers offer free shipping for orders over a specified amount. Amazon is also a great site for pet supplies and offers free shipping with a Prime membership. 

Opt for dry food 

Pound for pound, dry cat and dog food is more affordable than wet canned food. Feeding your pet only canned food, especially to larger dogs, can get quite costly. 

Consider budget-friendly foods

It’s understandable that you want to feed your cat or dog premium foods, but many brands can be expensive. Fortunately, there are many affordable options by trusted brands that are made with quality ingredients and meet your pet’s daily nutritional needs. 

Best products to help you save while feeding cats and dogs

Best Gamma2 Vittles Vault

Gamma2 Vittles Vault

Simply secure the airtight lid on the Vittle Vault, and your pet’s food will stay fresh and tasty. Another convenient feature is the stackable design that saves space.

Sold by Amazon, PetSmart and Chewy

Best IRIS USA 3-Piece Airtight Storage Container Combo

IRIS USA 3-Piece Airtight Storage Container Combo

This pet container system includes a large and small compartment for storing treats and food. The built-in casters make it easy to move. A scoop is included.

Sold by Amazon and PetSmart

Best Whisker City Wet Pet Food Storage Container

Whisker City Wet Pet Food Storage Container

If you frequently open a can of cat or dog food but don’t use it all, you need a container that will keep it fresh in the fridge. This one features a silicone lid that keeps out air and locks in flavor. 

Sold by PetSmart

Best ORE PET Pet Food Bag Clip

ORE PET Pet Food Bag Clip

A large food bag clip like this 4-inch model will keep a bag of kibble securely closed to prevent it from drying out and becoming stale.

Sold by Chewy

Best IVIA PET Universal Silicone Pet Food Lids

IVIA PET Universal Silicone Pet Food Lids

These four silicone lids have a universal design to fit pet food cans of various sizes. They are made of BPA-free material.

Sold by Amazon

Best Whisker CIty 3D Cat Face Cat Food Can Cover

Whisker City 3D Cat Face Cat Food Can Cover

We love the adorable kitty face of this cat food can lid that provides a fun way to maintain the freshness of your feline’s favorite wet food.

Sold by PetSmart

Best Rypet Pet Food Measuring Scoops, Set of 4

Rypet Pet Food Measuring Scoops, Set of 4

This collection of four measuring scoops includes ¼-, ⅓-, ½- and 1-cup sizes so you can be sure to feed your cat or dog just the right amount of kibble for their needs.

Sold by Amazon

Best budget-friendly yet nutritious pet food

Best Purina Dog Chow

Purina Dog Chow

If you are looking for reasonably priced dry dog food, you can’t go wrong with Purina Dog Chow. It’s been a fan favorite among dog owners for generations.

Sold by Chewy and PetSmart

Best Purina Cat Chow

Purina Cat Chow

Purina also offers Cat Chow that’s nutritionally complete and has a flavor most cats love. It’s one of the more affordable options on the market.

Sold by PetSmart and Chewy

Best Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner, Chicken and Beef, 24 Cans

Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner, Chicken and Beef, 24 Cans

You’ll get 24 cans of wet dog food in this pack, which is a great option for budget-minded dog owners who like to feed canned food. It includes chicken and beef flavors.

Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Best Friskies Pate Seafood and Chicken Wet Cat Food, 40 Cans

Friskies Pate Seafood and Chicken Wet Cat Food, 40 Cans

Cats love the flavor of Friskies’ wet food. Friskies offers seafood and chicken varieties in a hearty pate. You’ll get 40 cans for a reasonable price.

Sold by Amazon, Chewy and PetSmart


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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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