Tips for Feeding Your Pets While on Food Stamps
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For many Americans, pets are cherished family members, deserving of a high-quality life. In times of financial hardship, however, families have to cut costs where possible. Government assistance in the form of food stamps provides relief for humans, but the family pets still need food. Surrendering pets to animal shelters or rehoming pets with new families is a difficult choice some people contemplate, although many refuse to take this option. For those owners unwilling to surrender their furry friends, the team at Food-Stamps.org has a variety of suggestions to help owners feed their pets on a budget. Smart shopping, charities and home-cooked meal supplements are all ways to keep pets fed while on a budget.
Learn About Smart Shopping
The pet owner in need of cheap pet food should compare pricing, utilize coupons and take advantage of store sales. Coupons, both digital and physical, are excellent ways to save money and stretch budgets further.
Brick-and-mortar stores often send out coupons in the mail directly to households, or as part of weekly sales flyers, so the team at Food-Stamps.org encourages families to scour mailings and newspapers before discarding them in hopes of locating useful coupons. Families on budgets should check with their local grocery stores for free rewards cards or mailing sign-ups to receive deals and savings. Using the store rewards card often helps stores tailor coupons to their customers’ needs, so it is important that shoppers use their rewards cards when possible. Some grocery stores have apps and websites where customers may clip digital coupons, or sign up for an email list to receive sale alerts and coupon links. Families using coupons should check with their grocery stores about the store policy on accepting competitor coupons as another way to save money. A more expensive store’s coupons may provide better savings in a different grocery chain, letting owners save precious funds. Some customers may prefer the realm of e-commerce and online shopping, especially with specialty websites dedicated to pet needs. Customers should make sure to sign up for emails and check for online coupon sites before making their online purchases to save the most money.
Look for Sales
Like coupons, store sales are another way for families to plan their shopping trips and save cash. Smart shoppers should scour sale papers and online ads in a variety of stores to see which deals create the best savings. Sometimes, the best financial decision for customers is to go outside the usual grocery stores or to try new brands. When trying new pet food brands, however, some animals can be very particular about their preferred brands, and may refuse to eat the provided meals. Pet owners should not be discouraged if this happens, and try mixing old and new brands to get the pet accustomed to change.
Find Out About Price Comparisons
Coupons and store sales provide excellent money saving opportunities, but the smart shopper should also try to compare pricing at all times. Although a coupon or deal sounds appealing, the reality may be deceptive to the unaware shopper. An easy way to do this is calculate the price per weight on various products and see which item, by weight, is the smarter financial option. For example, if a 50-pound bag of dry dog food costs $23, simply divide the cost by the weight. In this example, each pound of dog food costs 46 cents. Do the same for another brand to figure out the cost per weight and compare the price. Such tricks will help pet owners spend their money wisely. The group at Food-Stamps.org cautions customers with access bulk shopping options and encourages customers to check price by weight to determine the best possible deal on pet food.
Although government food stamps programs do not provide assistance for pets, customers should look to food banks and pet charities for assistance. Pet rescues and local humane societies are one potential resource for charitable pet food distribution or information on pet food assistance. Although food banks typically provide for human family members, some charities may receive pet food donations. The team at Food-Stamps.org encourages families to check both resources frequently and early for the best chances at pet food donations. Although not based everywhere in the United States, nonprofit pet food assistance companies are gaining popularity, and pet owners should check the availability in their area. Customers should keep in mind that such methods are on a first-come, first-served basis and rely on donations from pet food companies and individuals.
Consider Home Cooking
Some owners may wish to supplement their pets’ meals with some home-cooked options. Depending on an animal’s nutritional needs, pet owners may incorporate cooked barley, steamed vegetables or cheap cuts of cooked meat in moderation. The team at Food-Stamps.org urges pet owners to confer with a veterinarian before introducing such foods into their pets’ diets. Some animals cannot tolerate grains or excessively fatty meat, and some human foods are fatal when given to animals. Some owners may be able to procure cheaper, lesser cuts of meat to cook and add to their animal’s daily intake. Pet owners may wish to make healthy, pet-friendly treats using ingredients from home, but should do thorough research on each ingredient used. With veterinarian approval, homemade food supplements or treats can help keep beloved family pets happy and well-fed.
Note: Human foods should not replace the entirety or majority of a pet’s diet and should only assist pet owners when pet food resources are scarce.