How to Care for Pets on a Budget

Before I begin I should preface my life. I share my 2 bedroom apartment with 5 animals. I have 3 cats, 1 dog, and 1 rabbit. I also don’t have alot of money left over each month after bills are paid so I have to stretch my dollars to the max to care for my animal family.

The first best way to care for them would be by clipping coupons. You could go through the coupons in the Sunday paper, or to save me money from buying the paper I typically get coupons in my mailbox once a week and I go through those and also find the coupons that my neighbors didn’t want and clip those, too, so that I can save money more than once. To further explain this previous statement, I do not go into my neighbors mailboxes; there is a drop box for unwanted mail just under the mailboxes and I root through there for the coupons. I go through the ads, clip out the coupons I am going to use (even if they are for brands I don’t normally buy), and organize them in my coupon bag by date so that I know how long I have to use them before they expire. Organizing the coupons by expiration is helpful because you have the option to use some now and have some for later whenever you need them. By clipping multiple coupons I have been able to save alot of money by being able to buy things in bulk. Previously I have had multiples of a coupon for a brand of cat treats. I went to Walmart and checked out the price minus the coupon and it came out to thirty five cents a bag! I was thrilled to have atleast 4 of that same coupon to be able to stock up on the inexpensive treats and my cats loved them! I have also had coupons for cat litter. Target had a sale on that particular brand of cat litter which, minus the coupon, made the cat litter six dollars a box! Plus, I still have 2 of the cat litter coupons left for later and they don’t expire til October!

Another idea would be to price shop. If you buy a particular food, for example my cats won’t eat anything but Iams, you could go through the ads for the different retailers who sell that food such as Target, Walmart, Petsmart, and Petco and see who has the best price for it and choose to buy it at that store. Granted you may have to buy it at a different store each time but so long as most or all of the stores are nearby your home you won’t be using up a whole lot of gas to go to different locations, plus you’ll save money by possibly paying close to the same low price for the food each time you buy it.

My next great idea is to buy pet items in bulk whenever possible. When I pet shop for the month I make sure to buy more than one at a time of the items I use most so that I don’t have to run out to the store often. I typically buy the biggest bag of Iams they sell at Walmart and with 3 cats it typically lasts me about a month. I also stock up on cat litter and rabbit hay. Whenever you are able to stock up it seems like alot of money at the time you do it but in the long run it lasts longer.

In conclusion, these are the many ways I save money with my household of 5. I hope these tips are helpful for you, too!

Thanks Molly Merklin for these tips!

Here are some pet coupons available:

$1.10 off when you buy any EIGHTEEN cans of Fancy Feast® Elegant Medleys® Gourmet Cat Food, any variety
$1.50 off when you buy any ONE Purina® Cat Chow® Healthy Weight brand Cat Food, 3lb bag or larger
$1.00 off when you buy any SIX 3 oz cans of Purina® Chef Michael’s® Wet Dog Food
$1.50 off when you buy any TWO Milo’s Kitchen® brand dog treats
$1.10 off when you buy any TWENTY-FOUR cans of Fancy Feast® Gourmet Cat Food, any variety
80¢ off when you buy any three 3oz cans of Purina ONE® canned cat food