Where to find best pet food deals

June 16, 2011 3:43:58 PM PDT
Even in the tough economy, people are still spending money on their pets, so we want to try to help you save.

To make sure you get the best prices for your pet food, we went price-comparing to see who has the best deals.

You probably think the discount stores are the best deals, but big box specialty pet stores may also be worth the trip. Our own Super Saver Erin Libranda says those stores usually have the best prices combined with special coupons and offers.

When Libranda noticed her dog food stockpile had slowly dwindled, it was time to stock up. Her store of choice is PetSmart because the store allows you to combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons and even allows competitors' coupons.

"We actually did this this weekend," said Libranda. "PETCO had a coupon out and they didn't have the dog food that we wanted and so we printed out their coupon took it to PetSmart and they honored it."

Here is how she got her deal. She purchased 68 cans of Alpo dog food on sale for 75 cents each. She then combined manufacturer coupons to get an even better deal. Finally Libranda used a competitor's coupon to save even more! Her total out of pocket expense for 68 cans of dog food comes out to $16.78. The regular price with no coupons $51 bucks, so Libranda saved $34.22!

"With the coupons and sales, it was more than 50 percent off more than what it would normally be the shelf price," Libranda said.

At PetSmart, you will have to sign up for a free club card to take advantage of the sales and get coupons sent to you email.

"On top of the instant savings, it also tracks your purchases, so they can also generate coupons off future purchases," PetSmart employee Gary Folwer said.

But if you don't want to sign up for savings clubs or clip coupons, we set out to price compare pet food at specialty stores like PetSmart, the grocery store and the discount stores.

At Target, a seven-pound bag of Beneful Original dog food was the cheapest for $8.48; at Walmart, it was $1.50 more at $9.98. PetSmart had the most expensive price at $11.49.

A three-ounce can of Fancy Feast was the least expensive at PetSmart for 49 cents but the most at Kroger for 65 cents a can.

At Walmart, a 13.2-ounce can of Pedigree was the priciest at 84 cents a can, but the cheapest at Kroger for 68 cents. Kroger also had the best deal on a 3.15-pound of Meow Mix for $3.98 but at PetSmart, a dollar more.

The bottom line is there was not one clear winner on the best prices on pet food because sales vary from store to store. So if you don't want to shop sales, it's best to price match an ad. You can do this at Target, Walmart and PetSmart.

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