How to Cook for Your Dog on a Budget
Spoiling our pups with the best of the best can become expensive, but believe it or not, cooking fresh, healthy doggy meals at home doesn’t have to be. If you follow a few simple steps, you can save money all while adding nutrient-rich, fresh food to your dog’s diet.
TIP #1 - Try plant-based
Trying a plant-based recipe for your dog not only helps keep them healthy, but can save you money as well. Dogs are omnivores and can thrive on a balanced, nutritionally-complete plant-based diet. Dogs that eat plant-based often have fewer issues with allergies and are less prone to obesity. Plant-based protein sources like lentils, black beans, tofu, and tempeh are packed with nutrients, and choosing plant-based protein generally runs at less than half of the price of home-cooked meat options. Organic chicken breast averages around $6.00/lb, while extra firm organic tofu will run you $0.19/oz, or $3.04/lb. A can of organic black beans can cost as low as $0.70/oz, or just over $1/lb.
TIP #2 - Buy in bulk
Buying large quantities of the ingredients you know you’ll use frequently in your dog’s recipes is a great way to save money. Not only that, but it ends up saving you time with fewer trips to the store. As an example, a package of chia seeds can run you close to $1.00 per ounce at a traditional grocery store. If you purchase a bulk bag at a wholesale store (like Costco) or a 2lb container on Amazon, the price drops to closer to $0.30 per oz. That’s a 70% discount - woo!
TIP #3 - Bring your measuring cups
If you’re lucky enough to have a co-op or grocery store with bulk bins near you, bring along your measuring cups. Before you head to the store, jot down the amount of each bulk ingredient (oats, dried beans, etc) you need for the batch of recipe you’ll be making. Then use the scoop to pour the ingredient into your measuring cup before bagging it all up. Using precise measurements will avoid waste and keep you on budget since bulk bin items are usually cost-saving.
Before heading to the store or pulling up your online grocery store order, make sure you have a list of the exact items you need for your dog’s recipes handy. This will help you stay on track versus buying more random items that will potentially not be used and go to waste later on. Take a few minutes to look at your dog’s recipes so you can indicate a number next to each item on your list.
When following these tips, you’ll be cooking dog food recipes like a pro in no time, and saving money while you’re at it. Who doesn't love that?