One of those products is my cat's preferred brand of pet food. While I don't mind planning my own meals around the best grocery store deals that week, I make sure my pets get the pick of the litter when it comes to what they eat. I want them to live the longest, happiest, and healthiest lives possible, so natural food is important to me. I only buy one variety of one brand, and it's not cheap. It's one of the high quality brands that's sold in speciality pet food stores.
But after paying full price again and again for this high-quality cat food, my Krazy Coupon Lady tendencies kicked in. Was there any way I could bring down the price, even just a little? After a bit of research and shopping around, I did identify a few ways to save on the pricey cat food. My pets are happy to have the food they love, and I'm happy to have a few more dollars in my pocket!
Buy Big or Go Home at Specialty Pet Food Stores
When it comes to people food, I steer clear of warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam's Club because I know I can find better deals elsewhere. And in other stores, I get more bang for my coupon buck if I use a coupon on the smallest sized item, especially if I have multiples.
But when it comes to cat food, it's actually less expensive per can to buy a whole case.
Every specialty pet food store I have shopped at (and in my search for the best price, I have shopped at several) will offer a discount of around 10 percent if you buy a case. Depending on the size and brand you're buying, a case could be 6-12 cans. So instead of grabbing just a few cans for the week, stock up and save.
Subscribe & Save on Amazon
You may already know that you can save up to 15 percent on Amazon orders if you sign up for automatic delivery every month or two. Aside from household necessities like toilet paper, laundry detergent, and diapers, did you know you can also add pet food to your subscription? Many of the items are also Prime Eligible, meaning they ship free with your Amazon Prime subscription.
Other pet products such as litter, treats, vitamins, and accessories are also part of the Subscribe & Save program. The more products you add to your subscription, the bigger the discount. If you have a few pets and are constantly buying food, this could be a great option to save both money and time on trips to the pet store.
Just keep in mind that if you're buying pet food on Amazon, you're likely buying in bulk. So if it seems like a 24-can variety pack might be a bit too much food for your pets to stomach in one month, adjust your subscription for less frequent deliveries.
Combine Offers on Wag.com
Wag.com is a relatively new site for pet food and supplies that's part of the Soap.com family. You'll find a variety of food brands for almost any household pet, and you can also order pet medications.
The site offers free 2-day shipping on orders over $49 and has a couple other deals as well. Right off the bat, you can save 15 percent off your first order with the code WAG. You also get a 5 percent credit on all pet food purchases, which you can apply to your next order.
Even better, Wag.com allows you to combine your order with other orders from Soap.com (or any of the other sites) into one transaction to reach the $49 free shipping minimum. So instead of adding extra pet collars or toys to your order to bring up your total, you could add something more practical like hand soap or diapers.
Auto Ship Bonus Brands on PetFoodDirect
The real money saver, however, is the Auto Ship feature. Like Amazon's Subscribe & Save, about 475 brands are eligible for automatic deliveries according to the schedule you set. If you select Auto Ship, Pet Food Direct will automatically take 15 percent off each order. Plus, if you Auto Ship one of the eligible "Bonus Brands," you'll get an extra 5-15 percent off. Pet Food Direct is always adding new Bonus Brands, so if your preferred brand isn't available at an extra discount now, keep checking back.
The one catch with Pet Food Direct's Auto Ship feature is that free shipping is not included. I consider shipping fees part of the price I am paying for the food, so this can be a deal breaker for me. But if you have a lot of pets, it might be worth paying for shipping for the convenience. You can also adjust or cancel your Auto Ship options anytime, so you're welcome to try it "risk free" to see if it works for you and saves you money.
Become an At-Home Pet Food Chef
The above methods will help you lower pet food costs, but your maximum savings will be around 30 percent. If you're really serious about saving money on pet food but still want to feed your cats and dogs healthy, high-quality food, consider making your own! According to Mint.com's Frugal Foodie, by preparing your own wet dog food, you can save up to half off commercial brands. Another pro about making your own pet food is avoiding the recalls that sometimes haunt pet food brands; you don't have to worry because you know exactly what you're feeding your pet.
Since certain foods are harmful to animals, it's best to discuss this option with your vet first. And definitely do your homework. Just like us, pets need balanced nutrition. Just because they enjoy our table scraps doesn't mean that food is good for them. Consider investing in a book like The Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Cats and Dogs to learn the ins and outs of preparing your own pet food at home so you can keep your pet healthy and safe.