Everyone wants the best for their pet but looking after a furry friend doesn’t mean you have to overspend on their meals.
In the UK, there are plenty of ways for savvy pet owners to feed their pets well without breaking the bank. From buying in bulk and selecting store brands, to finding subscription food services and using supermarket coupons, let’s take a look at some of the most effective strategies for saving money on pet food.
Buying in bulk
Bulk buying is a sensible strategy for pet owners looking to make savings since larger bags of pet food typically come with a lower cost-per-kilo than smaller bags. In the UK, customers can bulk-buy from wholesale retailers like Makro or Costco, or look for bulk pet food deals online on sites like Amazon. It’s often a good idea to bulk buy pet food during promotions or sales: not only does this save money upfront, but means fewer trips to the store or orders online - and additional savings on fuel and delivery costs.
Make sure your pet has tried and approved the brand you’re bulk buying since there's no saving to be had if your pet turns their nose up at a 15kg bag of food! You might be able to get a few free samples by emailing the brands you’re interested in before you commit to buying.
Smart storage solutions
Bulk buying food is a great money-saving strategy but you’ll need to be able to store the food properly to maintain its nutritional - and therefore, financial - value. Poor storage can expose pet food to air, moisture, or pests, and this means you need to spend more money to replace it!
Smart storage strategies can protect the value of your pet food. Airtight containers, for example, can keep food dry and fresh while containers with a good seal can prevent enticing smells from attracting unwanted visitors like mice or insects.
Consider the size and placement of your storage: containers should be large enough to hold your bulk purchase, but also fit conveniently in your available space. Store pet food in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent spoilage. If you've bought dry kibble, avoid storing it in damp areas, like under the sink or in an outdoor shed, since this can lead to mould growth.
Remember: while dry food has a longer shelf life, its freshness diminishes quickly once the bag is opened. If you’re bulk buying multiple bags, it’s best to only open one at a time.
An eco-friendly approach
Beyond the money you can save, using storage containers is a more sustainable, environmentally friendly option than keeping pet food in its original packaging. Not only will you reduce waste by not throwing away spoiled food, which is both good for the environment and your wallet, you’ll likely be able to recycle the original packaging while re-using your container.
Choosing store brands
Organic and premium pet foods often come with a hefty price tag. The good news is, unless your pet has specific dietary requirements, you can opt for store-brand food products that are just as nutritionally fulfilling and more cost-effective.
If you’re unsure about which brand to choose, consulting your vet can help you work out if the extra cost for premium brands is going to be beneficial or necessary for your pet’s health. And, of course, you can still splash out on premium food once in a while to give your pet a treat!
Subscribing and shopping online
Subscription services, which deliver pet food regularly over time, can be economical for a lot of owners, and work particularly well for pets with specific dietary requirements.
There’s a good selection of pet food subscription services in the UK, with options for different animal species, fresh and dry varieties, and plenty of delicious flavours. Companies like Tails and Butternut Box, for example, offer tailored food plans for pets - often with discounts for your first order. Amazon UK's Subscribe & Save is another option for owners looking for savings and offers regular deliveries of a range of pet food brands.
Coupon Clipping and Price Comparison
For owners willing to put in a little time and effort, coupon-clipping and price comparison sites can turn the process of purchasing pet food into a fascinating financial exercise. Here's how you can make the most of these cost-saving strategies in the UK:
Pet food manufacturers and stores often release coupons as part of promotions. Here’s where you can find them:
Brand websites: The websites of popular pet food brands like Royal Canin, Purina, or Hills often host exclusive online coupons or offers which can be copied to online orders, scanned as QR codes, or printed.
Retailer newsletters: Many popular pet stores publish weekly or monthly newsletters that include exclusive coupons and promotional offers.
Loyalty programmes: Most supermarkets offer in-store and online loyalty programmes rewarding regular purchases with discounts or coupons.
Social media: Follow your favourite pet brands and stores on platforms like Facebook and Twitter to learn about new promotions.
Coupon websites: Websites like HotUKDeals, MoneySavingExpert, or VoucherCodes often list pet food coupons.
Price comparison websites are an easy way to get a quick idea of what you can expect pet food to cost - and ensure you don’t pay more than you need to. Here are some of the UK’s most popular price comparison websites:
PriceRunner: With thousands of listed shops and products, PriceRunner allows you to make price comparisons across various brands, including pet food suppliers.
Google Shopping: Google’s price comparison Shopping feature can display pet food prices from different retailers at a glance.
CamelCamelCamel: Built specifically for Amazon price comparisons, CamelCamelCamel tracks prices over time, so you’ll know if and when you’re getting a good deal.
Petmoneysaver: A niche site focused specifically on pet food, Petmoneysaver compares prices from various UK pet shops online.
How to save more on pet food
To really maximise your pet food savings, you could combine coupons with the prices that you find via comparison sites. To avoid getting caught out on terms and conditions, you’ll need to read up on each store’s policy on using coupons in conjunction with price matching offers or promotional sales. Also, keep an eye on the unit price, not just the overall price: a large bag of pet food may have a higher initial cost but could be cheaper per meal than a smaller bag.
In a digital world, it’s never been easier to take advantage of coupons and price comparison sites, most of which can be accessed online or via apps. By putting a little time aside, you'll not only manage your pet food budget more effectively but might discover new brands or stores that offer better value for your money. Learn as much as you can about which cost-saving services are available - so that you can make informed decisions before you even set foot in a physical store or add items to your online shopping basket.
Pets come first
While saving money is important, your pet's nutritional needs should always come first and it’s important to talk to your vet about the most suitable diet for your animal companion if you’re unsure what you should give them. With a bit of research - and these cost-saving tips - you’ll keep them happy and full, along with your wallet.