Monday, September 26, 2011

Tips on finding pet food deals

Tip #1: Realize that couponing only takes moments, not hours.

Many of us have heard about TLC's show Extreme Couponing. The ridiculous amounts of product these people buy, the crazy checkouts, and the mini-markets these people have in their basements and garages. For those of you who think look at couponing and think "I never could, nor would never want, to do that," please hear me out. Coupons are a great way to save money on the items you need and use, especially on everyday items. Unlike the extreme couponers who spend up to 40hrs. a week clipping and sorting (seriously, who WANTS to do that?!), most people can save lots of money with just a few moments during the week.

Tip #2: Utilize your printer.

Some of the best coupons I have come across have been printables I found online. Some great websites to keep in mind are:

Also from time to time companies will post coupons on their websites. Sometimes these coupons can be really high value coupons, so print them quickly! Oftentimes the better coupons have print limits, and once that is reached the coupon is no longer available.

Tip #3: Keep your eyes out for coupon sources.

Coupon sources are growing. We no longer have to rely on the Sunday paper, but can find coupons online, in stores, and even in magazines. One of my biggest tips is to keep your eyes open for coupons while you are out shopping. No, this does not mean stocking the aisles or buying 40 newspapers. It simply means keeping a lookout, just like you would for an incredible pair of shoes. On a recent trip to PetSmart I noticed that there were coupon displays in many of the aisles. I happen to be buying a bag of cat food, and there on the shelf below was a coupon for two free cans of food if I bought a bag. Had I not kept my eyes open I would have missed the coupon and the two free cans of food I got.

Tip #4: Match up coupons with store deals and promotions.

This is probably one of the best tips out there. Even pet food items go on sale, which is awesome to begin with, but when you top that sale with a coupon the savings get even greater. My cats favorite treats were on sale recently at our local grocery store for $1/pk. Great price, but on top of that I had a coupon for $.75 off when I bought two packs. Lucky for me our store doubles anything up to $.99, so I got two packs for $.25 each! Even without doubling it would have been $1.25 for two packs, instead of $2 with just the sale price, which is a great bargain. Take a glance at your weekly fliers and take a quick walk through your pet store to see what deals you can match up with your coupons!

Tip #5: Email your pet food companies.

This took me a while to learn, and it may seem a little far fetched, but man oh man, how the savings rolled in! Many pet food companies have websites with contact emails. Simply send a quick note to them, either stating how much your pet enjoys the food or that you would like to switch your pet to their food. And then ask if they ever have coupons for their products, and if it would be possible for them to send you some. 9 times out of 10 the company is more than happy to do this, and I have gotten some incredible coupons this way. These coupons are sometimes higher value coupons, making your savings even greater for the minute it took you to type up an email.

Tip #6: Don't give up.

Pet food deals may not be as numerous as grocery deals, so be patient. It may take a while for you to get the hang of using coupons, or the products you use for your pet may not have frequent offers and deals (this is especially true of specialty foods). Keep looking though, because you don't want to miss that terrific deal when it does come along.

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