Thursday, June 4, 2009
Switch to Cheaper Dog Food
As featured in the Savings section of "Moneyunder30.com's 208th Carnival of Personal Finance."
The Internet is riddled with ways to save money by reducing your monthly bills. This can be applied to all of your monthly expenses, regardless of whether or not you receive an invoice. A perfect example is spending $50.00 per month on dog food, which cost about the same as many utility bills. Most people don't bother to shop around to for better deals on dog food or even considers using a cheaper brand. Ironically, if I said you could save $10.00 a month on all of your future cell phone bills by jumping once through a flaming hoop on a unicycle, you would probably consider it.
What to get?
Companies try to capitalize on our emotional attachment to our pets by competing for the title of healthiest dog food. They know we all subconsciously want that absolute best for our little fur ball. The reality is compared to all the other things that dogs eat when we aren't looking, I don't think kibble type really makes that much of a difference. Obviously this excludes recalls and food that makes your dog ill. Research and compare price vs. name recognition to determine what is appropriate for your pooch.
Where to get it?
The price of dog food will vary depending on where you live. Here in Washington I have found that the cheapest place to get dog food is Dells Farm Supply, which carries all of the top name brand foods at a fraction of the price of PetCo or Petsmart. Another good place to buy dog food is Costco. If your only option is to shop at the high priced pet shops, at least see if they have any deals like buy 10 bags over a year, get 1 free. Many Petshops are offering some kind of rewards program.
How to make the switch?
Your dog has probably become accustom to its food. In order to make a switch to a less expensive brand, you must gradually blend in the new stuff. Start by feeding your dog a split portion of 25% cheaper food and 75% regular food. Do this for a few days, and then increase to 50% cheaper food and 50% regular for a few more days. Next feed the dog 75% cheaper food and 25% regular for a few days. Finally start feeding only the less expensive food and you are on your way. The gradual switch should take about a week.
Your furry friend won't know the difference, but your wallet will.