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Can't afford canned food anymore... $60/monthly budget to feed 3 cats, help?

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your cat's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your kitty!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster's choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

  
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Brownie

I'm the Alpha- cat!
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 3, '12 9:50am PST 
I checked the Petco ad. Not a great sale this month. BB Wilderness 5 lb bag is 10% off. I'm not sure the full price at Petco. at Petsmart it was 20. If I'm by Petco I'll stop in and see. Friskies cans 5.5 oz are $0.50. At Petsmart, 8/4-5/12 Friskies cans 5.5 oz are $0.45.
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KitKat

Canned Food- Connoisseur
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 3, '12 3:09pm PST 
Hey again all smile Thank you so much for all of your responses! I know many of you have recommended homemade/raw food, and I do appreciate your suggestions. I have actually quite extensively investigated that option, and if I were to buy everything to make raw food, I couldn't afford it because of all the
vitamins I would need to buy to add to the food. I think raw feeding is great and can be a huge cost saver in the long run, but my problem is that I can't come up with enough money for the initial costs.

For this month, I ended up buying a 15 lb bag of Purina ONE, which was on sale at Walmart for $23 (after hours of researching costs, looking at a ton of flyers, calculating, etc. I found that to be the cheapest for the quality), and two cases (24 of the 5.5 oz cans each) of Friskies for about $13 per case on sale. I have been feeding my three babies twice a day, as usual- they are getting Purina ONE dry food in the morning and Friskies canned food (I add extra water to it because I'm hoping that will somewhat make up for the liquids they're not getting with their first meal).

I have no idea how long a 15 lb. bag of the Purina ONE will last, but I'm assuming it will last for more than a month, because back when I used to free feed the 3 cats Friskies dry food (this was before I knew anything at all about pet nutrition), a 15 lb. bag lasted them a month. I don't free feed and haven't in ages, and since 50% of their daily diet is wet food, I'm wondering if the 15 lb. bag will last maybe a month and a week or so (I am factoring in that I still have to free feed them dry food a few days a month when I cannot be home all day)


As far as wet food goes, I know for sure that all I can afford to buy is Friskies. With the dry food, I can pay up to about $27 per 15 lb bag. I know that Purina ONE is better than some other grocery store types of food, but I'm not sure by how much, because I am so used to feeding the premium foods. If anyone knows of dry food that is nutritionally better than Purina ONE and would be about $27 or less for a 15 lb. bag, please let me know! If there isn't anything better out there in that price range, I think I'm going to have stick to feeding them the Purina ONE dry food in the morning and Friskies wet food in the afternoon. Thank you all again sooo much for all of your suggestions smile
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Norman DB#93- 2001-2013

I know you have- chicken & I want- it.
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 3, '12 7:22pm PST 
I am glad you are getting it all worked out! My cats eat nothing but Purina and have done very well. They like the Kit and Caboodle (Purina), it is just under 10 dollars for a 13 pound bag at Dollar General and Family Dollar. Probably not quite the quality of the Purina One, but might work on one of those "short" months. Of course I feed canned also, the Friskies is on sale at Family Dollar right now for 50 cents a can. If you don't live in Arkansas (Wal-Mart's home) you can order the food online, sometimes they have free shipping and I did not pay sales tax last time I ordered either, since I ordered from Texas. That may have changed, it has been a while since I ordered from them.
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Brownie

I'm the Alpha- cat!
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 4, '12 3:02am PST 
Okay, if you are looking for a deal on a 15 lb bag of dry food, how about Nutro Max? Petco has a 16 lb bag for $19.99 this month. It is $2 off this month. Now if you come next weekend to get it at Petco with the Petco $5 off $25 coupon that I gave you the link, you can save big.

Here is my example: Buy one 16 lb bag of Nutro Max for $21.99 on sale for $19.99. Now buy $3.01 more to get just above $25. So buy 6 cans of Friskies at $0.55 (I think is the full price.). That is $25.29. Then use your PALS card for the savings of $2.30. And now the $5 off Petco coupon, your total before tax is $17.99. This deal would be in your budget for kibble at a dollar a pound.

IMO. I like Nutro Max better than Nutro Natural. I think Nutro Max is better than Purina One. Purina One Beyond does compare to Nutro Max. Grab your Purina One bag and compare for yourself.

Nutro Max Indoor cat (Roasted Chicken Flavor): Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Wheat Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavors, Soybean Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Rice Flour, Chicken, Tomato Pomace, Oat Fiber, Yeast Culture, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Menhaden Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Choline Chloride, Barley Malt, DL-Methionine, Taurine, Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Zinc Sulfate, Dried Cranberry, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Inositol, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Manganous Oxide, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Potassium Iodide, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Dried Blueberry, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite.
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Andrew

1233830
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 4, '12 8:45am PST 
If you have access to a Tractor Supply Store I feed my cat 4-health All Life Stages. I can get 18 pounds for $21 US. The only problem is that you can't buy it online. So maybe your friends/family in the US could help you get it. I feel like it's just as good as Taste of the Wild and close to Blue Buffalo Wilderness, but at a more affordable price.
Here's a link.
http://www.tractorsupply.com/4health-trade-all-life-stages-cat-formu la-18-lb-bag-1152999

Edited by author Sat Aug 4, '12 8:57am PST

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Ramsey

Ramsey - The Bedroom Cat- Burglar
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 4, '12 6:23pm PST 
We like the Nutro Max Cat kibble here. The Indoor Roasted Chicken. Our favorite wet is the Nutro Natural Choice wet but we also like the Venison and Duck Max Cat wet. Good eats! snoopy
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♥Kobe- and- Aidan&hearts- ;

♥♥♥ 2- Sweet & Awesome- Cats ♥♥♥
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 12, '12 10:09am PST 
Just thought I'd chime in and say I LOVE this thread. Lots of great information that is helping me decide what to feed my kitties. Aidan is my youngest at only 11 weeks old. I want to do something different with him than I did with Greenlee (passed away from Fatty Liver Syndrome), but I too, cannot afford to buy the most expensive foods. I have always been told Purina is an awful brand, I have always thought opposite. I mean, how can a food be so "awful" yet people are still feeding it. I am glad to find some people who feed Purina and are willing to recommend it to people who are on a budget. Makes me feel good about feeding Purina and the other less expensive brands.

My cats, including Aidan, LOVE Fancy Feast Appetizers. I feed it as a treat in between meals. They love it.
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Merlin - An Angel- Forever

*Poof*
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 12, '12 5:04pm PST 
Adding this in case there are cats who don't know smile

Some canned or tray foods are supplements only, not 100% nutritionally complete. They can only be fed as treats or alongside dry food, not as the main food. There is a teeny tiny sentence on the label that says this but how many people actually read teeny tiny print? shrug The sentence may include words such as "supplemtental" or "complementary".

If a canned/pouch/tray food does not contain any vitamin or mineral, then it is not 100% complete. A diet that lacks vimtains and minerals can result in serious health issues.

Fancy Feast Appetiziers is one such food. Evangers's Game Meats line and Wysong's Au Jus line are other such foods. Applaws is another one and is new to the US.
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Rory

little red- biscuit head
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 12, '12 8:05pm PST 
Yes, look for the AAFCO compliance label to meake sure it's a complete( 'no, not holistic or premium, but nutritionally complete) foodm not a snack, appetizer, or treat.
OP, if you want something a bit more nutritionally effiecient (less poo, more nutritionally compact0 Purina proPlan available at petSmart PetCo Pet Supp;y Plus, etc is a decent alteranative.
Having been thru the raw/holistic/premium/et al mill more times than I care to count, I DO find Purina to be very consistantly good quality food-- we feen ProPlan, also use Royal Canin. Canned around here means fANCY fEAST, pRO Plan, Friskies and equivalent generics detemined by Meowma putting on the reading gleasses and checking to see they are identical.
Being we have lots of cats of various age and conditions, show and breed kittens, we like being consistent, and having palatable food that everyone eats and gains or maintains condition on without refusing food, losing condition, getting diarrhea or other ill effects, etc.
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Mimi- (MimiWowow)

I have a new- sister named- Caroline!
 
 
Purred: Tue Aug 14, '12 9:23pm PST 
I have had my two rescue cats for almost two years now, and I am all for wet high quality food/raw diet. I also have had financial restraints, and my cats have often eaten better than me. My one cat had a liver problem earlier this year, so eating was an issue. I have thrown out so much wet food that the cats didn't like or they lapped up all the gravy or water I put in. I have given away tons of cans of food that used to be their favorite. Much of this food was high end quality expensive food.

Well. I cannot afford this anymore. My one cat will eat certain flavors of Dave's, canned Chicken Soup for the Soul, Wellness, certain flavors of Natural Balance, Fancy Feast, Friskies, and most fish flavored cat foods (don't like her having). I am only buying what I can afford that she will definitely eat - Dave's, Friskies, Fancy Feast, etc. Does this make me a bad cat mom? Don't think so.

If my cat is not eating, will I offer her dry? You betcha. A junky dry food like Hills Science Diet, Special Kitty, or Meow Mix if she really won't eat. Yup. If I have to work all weekend for overtime to make ends meets or stay at my mom's to care for her after surgery they get dry out of the autofeeder. Do I feel guilty? Yes but the cats and I need to survive.

During these times I think everyone is trying to multitask and money will only scretch so far. The shelters are overflowing. Do the best you absolutely can for your cat. Offer fresh water and the best food you can.
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