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I don’t know about you, but when I go to buy dog food I tend to be shocked every time I see the prices.

I think back to when I used to be able to buy a 40lb bag of premium dog food for 30 some dollars. Now it’s over $60 for the same food in a smaller bag. Times have changed.

I do try to buy the best food I can afford, but there are times I can only afford to buy the food I can afford. I feed a rotation diet so my dogs are used to me switching foods and luckily it doesn’t stress them as much as it stresses me.

Over the years I’ve used a number of different ways to save money on dog food. No matter what you feed(i.e. kibble, freeze-dried, etc.), there are sure to be a few tips you can use.

  1. Don’t overfeed your dog. Overfeeding leads to overweight dogs who not only have more health issues, but it also shortens their lives. Each bag of food gives information on how many cups of food your dog needs based on their weight. Follow that and adjust more or less depending on what you need to do to maintain your dog at a healthy weight. And use an actual measuring cup to measure. When I worked as a vet tech, I was surprised at the number of people who came in with overweight dogs who used any old cup to measure out their dogs food. They thought they were following the recommendations, but their cup was not equal to an 8 ounce measuring cup and they were feeding more.
  2. Sign up for your favorite brands’ email lists. The reason- coupons. Some may send you a coupon when you sign up for the list. Others may send them periodically on the list.
  3. Sign up for your local pet store’s email lists, apps and snail mail lists. Yes. For coupons again. It’s good day when there is a coupon for a free bag of dog food in the mail.
  4. Follow the brands and pet stores’ social media pages. You’re watching for coupons again. As well as any special sales that might come up.
  5. Join your local pet store’s loyalty programs. Many pet stores both online and off offer loyalty programs where members get special discounts and rewards. Some that you might want to join include: Petco’s Vital Care program, PetSmart’s Treats program and Pet Supplies Plus Reward program.
  6. Join the pet food brand’s loyalty program. Individual pet food brands may offer loyalty programs where you get points for products you buy. Those points accumulate and you redeem them for offers like coupons and discounts. Some of the food loyalty programs include: My Halo Rewards, The Honest Kitchens Rewards, Purina Pro Club, and Blue Buffalo Buddies program.
  7. Join a frequent buyer program. This works a little different than the point loyalty programs. With the frequent buyer programs, you get a free bag after buying so many bags of a certain size and brand. Bonus- some stores includes treats and chewies in their frequent buyer programs.
  8. Watch for coupons on products at the store. Keep those eyes open. Sometimes brands attach coupons to use when you purchase as part of a promotion.
  9. Say “Hi!” to brand reps when they are in the store. They are there to promote their brand’s food and that can mean samples and coupons.
  10. Check the clearance section. Hear me out. Yes. You may find food there that is expired or close to be expired. But if you are someone who is not comfortable feeding food that is close to its date, I still recommend you take a look. Stores may put food in the clearance section if they are no longer going to be carrying that specific food or if the brand is making package changes and wants the new packaging on the floor.
  11. Do some math. Figure out what the price per pound is so you know which size is most cost effective when there is a sale or when you have coupons to use. A $3 coupon off a small bag of food might save you more per pound than using that coupon on a larger size bag.
  12. Stock up. Take advantage of a sale to buy some extra bags at a lower price. Just be careful not to go crazy stocking up and end up with bags that you haven’t used past their date.
  13. Price shop both online and offline. Taking the time to check out prices at different retailers might get you a pretty good bargain.
  14. Join autoship. Autoship is great when you buy the same food all the time. Set it up so you receive your food on a set schedule(ex. every 6 weeks). The perk is you usually get a discount on your autoship order. Caution: pay attention to when your next order is getting ready to ship so you don’t end short in your bank account. You can adjust shipping dates up to a certain point before it ships.
  15. Use a rebate website or app. My favorites are Swagbucks where you get points back when you order through the link on their page and Ibotta where you get money back when you buy their featured products.
  16. Work for a pet supply company. If you are looking for some extra income, you might want to consider working for a pet supply company that has an employee discount as a benefit. Just don’t go crazy!

Since dog food is something we buy over and over even saving a little money with each purchase can help. But sometimes we get to a point where we need more than saving money to get through a rough spot. If you get to that point, pet food pantries are there to help. Please use their help if you need it.

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