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How I Save $600 a Year on Cat Food Using Amazon Prime

Using Subscribe & Save and the Amazon Prime Credit Card can yield big savings on supplies for your pet.
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cat food

Americans spent more than $23 billion on pet food in 2015, according to the American Pet Products Association. People obviously love their pets, and as we've learned what we should and shouldn't feed them, we've grown accustomed to spending more on quality eats for our furry family members.

But does that mean you have to pay a foreleg and a hind leg just to keep your cats fed well?

This past year, the pets in my household outnumbered the humans for the first time, as we went from one cat to three. With three meowing mouths to feed, the pet food bill can add up quickly, so I sought out ways to save money shopping online.

Save When You Subscribe at Chewy, Petco, or Amazon

Not only did retailers like Chewy and Petco have better prices than my local pet store, but they offered additional discounts when you signed up for their subscription services. (FYI, we feed our cats Pride by Instinct Champ's Chicken Recipe.) Amazon went one step further: If you subscribed to five or more items (any Subscribe & Save item, not just pet food), you'd save even more — as much as 15% off.

SEE ALSO: What Is Amazon Prime Pantry?

The only downside to choosing Amazon over the other options was that the most frequent delivery option is once a month, as compared to as being able to receive orders as often as every two weeks with Petco and every week from Chewy. This may not be a problem if you live in a space larger than a one-bedroom apartment, but we don't have the space to store a month's worth of supplies. My girlfriend and I worked around this issue by each signing up for subscriptions to essentially get deliveries every two weeks.

Also, we needed to pad our subscriptions with another four items to get the 15% off discount. We added a bag of dry food and a bag of litter, and threw in a bunch of treats for a couple bucks each.

Get 5% Cashback With the Amazon Prime Credit Card

To further sweeten the deal, we decided to get the Amazon Prime credit card, which gives you 5% cashback on Amazon purchases. Even with our local pet shop offering 5% off canned food when you buy a case and a $5 discount after you make 10 purchases of $20 or more, the online options were better. All told, we wound up saving more than $50 per month on canned food alone, which adds up to more than $600 a year. To look at it another way, that's 60¢ less per can.

We wound up saving more than $50 per month on canned food alone, which adds up to more than $600 a year. That's 60¢ less per can.

Compared to Petco's subscription service and factoring in their Rewards program (which gives you $5 in rewards for every $100 you spend), we would still save almost $16 per month or more than $190 per year. Best of all, now I don't have to haul all this food home from the store!

What do you think, readers? How do you save on your pet's food? Let us know in the comments below.


Senior Staff Writer

Stephen has been writing for such national and regional publications as The Village Voice, Paste, The Agit Reader, and The Big Takeover for 20 years, and has been covering consumer electronics and technology for DealNews since 2013.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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16 comments
Allyson
@01100001 & Stephen Slaybaugh: Additionally, if we do the whole associating house cats to their wild counterparts, their wild counterparts don't eat carbs so neither should the domesticated house cat.
Stephen Slaybaugh (DealNews)
01100001-
Some people are attributing the kidney and bladder problems many cats have later in life to not getting enough hydration. They don't drink enough water to only eat dry food. Here's some more on that: http://consciouscat.net/...-dry-food-to-your-cats/
maydepot
Maybe if you're a cat lady with 100 cats.
Allyson
@Computer parts guy: Have to disagree. I know I need to revamp what I eat & eat better. What society eats is reflected by what's advertised to us, our bodies, & how we treat ourselves. We deserve better just like our pets do. Good taste and nutrition should not be a trade off for us or for them, but we've let it become that way. Our nutrition has gone downhill because we have not demanded better. We no longer demand better & would rather settle. We've become lazy & would rather have mediocrity. We deserve better, but quite often we would rather complain than take action. While we can blame companies & corporations, we too, need to take responsibility for ourselves & our actions.If I could eat as healthy as my cat, I would. Here's to hoping we'll all take responsibility for ourselves & not settle! Here's to hoping we'll all be healthier & happier!
computer parts guy
I like the idea of buying from amazon. Nice convenience and would make the membership worthwhile. It doesn't sound like Stephen ever had a problem with the cat food batches going south. I used to monitor a rendering plant and the one manager told me the greasier the fat the more the animals loved it in their food. Good taste and nutrition can be a trade off. I fed my cats butternut squash (pumpkin family) with ground up butternut seeds in addition to their regular food. My vet commented that they never have a problem going to the bathroom. Turns out pumpkin seeds have ingredients that purge parasites in their intestines. My cats never looked better. The cats gave me the idea when I saw them cleaning the almost cleaned out squash skins on the compost pile. As long as your cats are healthy is what matters.
Allyson
@Stephen Slaybaugh (DealNews): Sorry I haven't been keeping up with your posts. This isn't to knock your choice of cat foods. While it seems like a good brand, it's made in the USA. I don't have anything against things being made in the USA, but I'm wary of human food & pet food made here. So much of our human food is processed & missing vital nutrients. Unless you know both your own food & your pet food are organic, you should keep a close eye on food recalls.
Allyson
@01100001: Because most dried cat food is made with nothing but fillers.
Allyson
@Stephen Slaybaugh (DealNews): But what brand are you buying & where is your cat food made?
01100001
Why are y'all feeding your cats canned food on a regular basis?
Rawmeat
@Stephen Slaybaugh (DealNews)--pet food recalls will be the same irrespective of where you buy it. The FDA forces companies to do their "volunteer" recalls, and recalls can occur with any brand. Some brands are more prone to having problems, but that's another story. Hopefully a smaller local store will keep better track of their stock than a big box retailer and be sure to remove tainted products promptly, but it doesn't always happen that way. Allyson's comment below basically points out the same as what I'd recommend about pet food: Buyer Beware.
Tweekie
Or...you can just sign up for the Target Debit (not credit) Red Card, which saves you 5% off of EVERY purchase, including clearance, and gives you free shipping on everything, including heavy items like cat food and litter. And then buy as much or as little at a time as you want or need, or can comfortably store. Just sayin'. And no, I don't work for Target, I just have no car, but I have a cat, and I live in the city. First world problem solved. :)
Stephen Slaybaugh (DealNews)
It may be brand specific, Vash, as I get 15% off the food we buy: https://www.evernote.com/...r8KOL1l6H5ZtKIFfDO-L6A
Stephen Slaybaugh (DealNews)
Hi Allyson
I buy the same food from Amazon that I would buy from my local mom & pop pet store, but for less money. So I'm not sure how I would be more prone to a recall--can you explain?
Vash The Stampede
Cat food only gets 5% on subscribe and save no matter how many items you have subscribed. The cat food items will count to make other items 15% off (when you get five or more items in the same month) but cat food only discounts to 5%. This is the case when buying Purina brand anyway. I don't know if it's brand specific.
Allyson
Yeah, but do you know what's in your pet food? No thanks. I shop at a smaller pet food store which will save me money after I spend a certain amount of money & I don't have to worry about any recalls. Glad I don't have to worry about recalls. Gives me peace of mind. So worth it!
dw1771
I purchase discount gift cards, from Card Cash and Raise, and use them to buy the pet food. It's even better if the retailer has a sale and the already discounted gift card stretches a little farther.
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