For this week's Thrifty Thursday, I wanted to share with you how I get cheap Pet Supplies. With a big dog who eats a ton and a cat who only eats wet food (he's super ancient, super picky, and super grumpy), finding cheap pet supplies is a huge help for me.
Southern States or other Farm Supply Stores: This is a secret that I honestly can't remember where I picked it up from. I think someone in my mom's group mentioned that dry dog food was cheap or something. They weren't kidding! I used to buy Pete's dog food from Costco. I think for a 40lb bag, I paid about $24. At Southern States, I pay $15 for a 40lb bag! Seeing as how my dog goes through about 2 of those bags a month, that's a pretty good savings! So, check your local Southern States or Farm Supply Stores to see if you can get your dog food a little bit cheaper. At my local SS, they have other supplies that you might need for a dog, cat, horse, etc.
**Disclaimer** Please check with your vet before changing your dog's food in any way. Some animals do not react very well to their food being changed and it can cause gastrointestinal distress if you give your dog food that they are used to one day and then completely change it the next. I'm very lucky in the sense that my dog seems to have a pretty tough tummy. He has adjusted perfectly to me switching his food over to the stuff from Southern States but I did it slowly.
Local SPCA or Animal Shelters: I don't know if every SPCA does this but our SPCA has a little pet supply store where they sell alot of items for super cheap. I've gotten a few collars and leashes for Pete from that store and have so far been really happy with them. I know some of the profits that are made in the store go to taking care of the animals in the shelter itself so I really like supporting them in any way that I can. However, the biggest cost savings for me by goign to the SPCA is through the shots that Pete has to get on an annual basis. Again, I don't know if every SPCA does it, but it's definitely worth it to check. My SPCA has wellness days where they offer alot of preventative care for extremely cheap. For example, I just took Pete this week to get his Bordatella and Distemper vaccines as well as a heartworm test and fecal parasite test. All of this at his vet's office would have cost me over $120. At the SPCA, I paid $39.00. Huge cost savings!
Costco: When I don't have some really good coupon for wet cat food for the cat, I usually buy the bulk box of wet food cans at Costco. It's something like $18 but I think there are 48 cans in there or something. Not too bad when you consider that at the grocery stores, each can is $.50 or more. However, I always try to be on the lookout for coupons which make each can cheaper than what I can even buy it for in Costco.
Pet Supplies Delivered/ Omaha Vaccine I actually learned of this place from the lady who helped me to rescue my dog. This is the cheapest place that I've ever been able to find for my dog's heartworm medication. Most places charge something like $60.00 for a 12 month supply. I think Omaha vaccine has ours for less than $40.00 for a 12 month supply. Score!
Another tip that I would give is to call around or get involved with some of your local animal rescue organizations. Volunteer to help them out at an event or to help them with the animals whenever you have some spare time. Not only are you helping out a good cause, but you get the insider scoop on some really great info. These groups are typically very overloaded but underfunded so they have to make every dollar count. Therefore, they usually have some great advice on how you can get pet supplies really cheaply. Also, sometimes they have access to discounts that the typical person doesn't have access too. For example, I helped out the rescue where I got my dog from a couple of times and one time that I was helping, the lady who runs the organization handed me a REALLY thick stack of coupons. It wasn't until I looked a little closer that I realized that they were for $8.00 off a bag of dog food. . .that's an AWESOME coupon! I asked her where she had gotten them and she said that a veterinarian that she had become friends with had sent them to her because he thought maybe she could use them. Since she used a different brand, she asked if I wanted them. Umm. .YES!
What other tips do you have to keeping pet expenses to a minimum? Please share!