Cat lovers want to provide their cat the best possible lifestyle—but, at the same time, saving money is a top concern for everyone these days. Whether you’d like to save on must-haves like food, litter, and medications or on occasional purchases such as toys and bedding, with a little pre-planning you can trim those costs while still providing your cat a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Ten top tips recommended for cutting costs when it comes to your feline:
- Sign up for newsletters of favorite companies. Most pet product manufacturers offer email newsletters and many of these feature exclusive discounts and coupons. Worried about filling your inbox? Set up a special email account just for newsletter signups; it will make it easy to search for coupons before your next shopping trip.
- Follow favorites on Twitter and Facebook. Just about every company has a Twitter and Facebook presence these days (just check the company website for links). You’ll often find some great fan/follower discount offers that are promoted exclusively through social media.
- Go the DIY route. Whether you want to build a cat tree, make your own cat toys, or learn to clip your cat’s nails, you can bet there’s a free video available to help lead the way. Check YouTube, Vimeo, and other video sharing services.
- Start a price book. Regardless of the cat product you’re purchasing, a price book can help you identify sales patterns and recognize a real bargain when you see one. Record the store, date, and price with each purchase of your cat’s staples so you’ll be able to compare per pound prices and identify the best buy.
- Determine if your cat’s prescription can be filled at the drugstore. Many cat prescriptions can be filled at the drugstore, offering savings and often the option of generic, low-cost equivalents. Some pharmacies also offer prescription clubs with lower costs–and family pets can be added as part of the family membership with many of the prescription clubs.
- Check your memberships for special offers. Whether you belong to an auto club, a warehouse shopping club, or a work-related affiliation, check all your memberships for special partnerships offering discounts on everything from pet insurance to boarding services.
- Investigate pet insurance. Check out pet insurance plans while your cat is young, if at all possible. Do your homework and learn about exclusions and limitations, balancing the monthly premium against the amount of coverage.
- Make your own home cleaning products. Simple, inexpensive ingredients such as white vinegar and baking soda are the basis of many homemade cleaners, ones that are “green” both for the environment and for your budget. You’ll avoid introducing unnecessary chemicals into your cat’s environment–and save money at the same time.
- Shop thrift stores and garage sales. Bargains await if you’re willing to shop for used products. Items such as stainless steel bowls can be found at a fraction of the price of their new equivalents. Also look for purchases that can be repurposed for your cat’s needs (those zippered pillow covers can be stuffed to make comfy cat beds!)
- Get proactive. Prevent costly problems before they start by taking your cat to his annual veterinary exam, spaying and neutering, brushing your cat’s teeth, and cat-proofing your home to prevent expensive accidents.
With just a little pre-planning, you can save money and enrich your cat’s life all at the same time…and that’s the cat’s meow!