Jet has very specific needs when it comes to his food. These special dietary needs mean that our monthly dog food bill is generally somewhere between $65 and $85.
I have always been a thrifty shopper. When I realized that this was going to be the way of things, I started scouting out ways to save money on dog food without changing our brand.
There are many websites out there that claim to offer savings and deals on high-quality dog food. Unfortunately, I have found that most of these sites also charge as much in shipping as they do for their “discounted” food.
Over the years, however, I have found a handful of ways to save money on dog food that really do save. We implement these savings for Jet’s food on a monthly basis and I can’t begin to count how much we have saved over the years.
So, How Can You Save Money on Dog Food?
1. Order Online
You are almost ALWAYS going to get a better deal on higher end foods when you order online.
I say “almost” because if you feed commercially prepared raw food (Bravo, Stella & Chewy’s, etc.), then you will almost never find an online retailer who will be able to beat local prices simply due to shipping costs.
Some of our favorite online retailers to get better deals on dry, wet, dehydrated, or freeze-dried foods include Wag.com, Petflow.com, Chewy.com, Amazon.com, and PetCo.com. Our favorite among these is Chewy because we love what they stand for, but always compare pricing on all of these sites when shopping to get the best deal!
Who do we NEVER use? We never use PetFoodDirect.com. Their prices are rarely competitive with the sites listed above and they charge very high shipping costs (usually around $15 per bag).
2. Use EBates
Once you have found the website that offers the best pricing option for your dog food, close out the browser window and go to Ebates.com.
Ebates is one of those programs that people are often skeptical about, but I promise you, they work. They use a system similar to blogs like mine by having you make your purchases through their link codes. This allows them to make a profit from your purchases and pass some of that savings on to you in the form of cash back savings.
How do you use them to save on dog food? Sign up for your account here.
Once you have signed up and filled in your profile information (including your Paypal address!) put your cursor in the search box on the Ebates webpage. Search for the website you want to buy your dog’s food from and hit “enter”.
Now you will see a list of coupon codes and promotional deals for that website. Look through these and see if there is one that applies to your upcoming purchase. If there is, click it. If there isn’t, simply click the button on the left side of the page that says “Shop Now.”
Underneath this button, you will see a percentage. This is the percentage of cash back you will get by clicking the Ebates link to get to the website you want to use to buy your dog’s food. (Think of Ebates as a go-between.)
Once you have clicked on the “Shop Now” button, you will be redirected to the website you want to shop on and you will make your purchase as normal.
A few days after your purchase has shipped to you, you can log into your Ebates account and see your cash back balance. This balance will be paid to you once a month. I believe you can set your account to pay you via check, but we use PayPal because it’s just easier for months when we don’t purchase much.
As an aside, you can get to just about any shopping website through the Ebates website, so if you do a lot of shopping online, this is a great way to save!
3. Use Coupon Codes
I mentioned this above since Ebates offers users coupon codes on many different websites. If you don’t find a coupon code for the retailer you are looking for on Ebates, however, keep looking!
There are many different coupon code websites online to search through and trust me when I say that we use them ALL!
Now, not all online retailers allow you to use coupon codes, but many do and they are a great way to save money!
Some of our favorite resources for coupon codes (and in-store coupons) include Retailmenot.com, signing up for a retailer’s newsletter, CouponCabin.com (they have exclusive coupons and offer cash back!), CouponSherpa.com, DealsPlus.com, and DealCatcher.com.
4. Sign Up For Auto-Ship
A lot of people worry that by signing up for auto-ship, they are giving up control over their payment information and when they receive their dog food. This simply isn’t true.
Provided that you use a reputable website like those mentioned above, auto-shipping can be managed through your account online. You will be able to postpone or cancel shipments at any time and you can end your auto-shipping order at any time without penalty.
What is the benefit of signing up with auto-ship?
Aside from not running out of dog food (a definite plus!), many companies offer additional discounts to customers who use their auto-ship feature. New customers usually get a one time large discount like the one pictured above for Chewy.com. After the first order, customers then usually save between 5% and 15% on every order they make simply for setting up an automatic shipment.
5. Shop Your Way
Depending on what food you feed your dog, Shop Your Way may or may not be a good solution for you.
Shop Your Way is a rewards program that works with numerous retailers. When you shop, you earn reward points for your purchases. Those reward points can be redeemed for credit towards purchases either on the ShopYourWay.com website, at Sears, or at K-Mart.
Now, before you laugh, you would be surprised at some of the name brand foods you can get at Sears and K-Mart, I know I was!
So, the idea is, that when you make purchases you were going to make anyway at qualifying retailers, you get rewards that can earn you potentially free items (like dog food).
Shop Your Way comes with a bonus, though. Thier website has a “sweeps” section where you can play (for free) instant win scratch-off type games and enter sweepstakes to earn prizes or extra reward points.
This is definitely another one of those programs that seem too good to be true. That said, in the past two weeks I have played their “sweeps” as a way to wind down before bed. In that time I have accumulated $38 in free points. That means that as of now, I could order a 30lb bag of high-quality food and pay $25. If I had played every night for the whole month, I would have a free bag of dog food.
This is by far my favorite way to save on dog food because it’s fun as well as an opportunity to get FREE dog food.
Now, keep in mind that they don’t offer every brand of food for “rewards points purchases”. They do, however, have a good selection. Plus, if they don’t have your brand, it’s still a good way to save on other monthly items so that you can use that money for your dog food!