Buying expensive pet products and supplies is not an absolute waste. Mainly because, expensive pet items such as dry dog food, often contain better ingredients. Simply put, you get a better product for paying more.

However, there are ways pet parents spend more money that adds no real value. Just by changing a couple of wasteful buying habits, you can end up saving a lot of money throughout your pet’s lifetime. In this post, we take a look at two ways pet parents waste money and we calculate the total waste using simple-to-understand math.

Not Buying Pet Food in Bulk

We went ahead and checked the prices of the same dog food of two different pack sizes. The product inside in both packs were identical in every way, the only difference was the size. After comparing the prices, it’s easy to figure out how much you can save  if you buy in bulk quantities. The bigger pack gives you a better per pound rate than the smaller one.

The prices we checked was for a 5 lb bag and a 28 lb bag. Now, the 5 lb bag was priced at $13.94. This was the final checkout price, after all the discounts. The 28 lb bag, on the other hand, was $48.83 after discounts.

Therefore, if you buy the 5 lb bag you are paying $2.7 per pound. We got that by dividing the cost of the bag ($13.94) by the pack quantity (5 lb). However, if you buy the bigger 28 lb pack you pay a per pound price of $1.74. That’s a saving $1 for every pound of food.

Total Estimated Waste: Consider you have a medium sized dog that has a pound of dog food every day. then you waste approximately $30 on food every month by buying the smaller pack. That’s a waste of $360 every year and a total lifetime waste of $3240, considering your dog lives till 9 years of age.

Going to a Pet Store to Buy Pet Supplies

Considering you can get home delivery of pet medical supplies and food, there is no real point spending the money on transport. The cost of driving to a pet store every month to get your pet supplies can be saved completely if you buy from an online store that offers free home delivery. For the sake of this comparison, we assume the store prices and online prices are the same. However, in reality, prices online are almost always lower than the ones offered at pet stores.

Let’s assume your pet store is 3 miles away, which is a fairly short driving distance. That means you need to drive a total of 6 miles for a trip to the pet store.

According to AAA, people spend an average of 59.2 cents per mile when driving their vehicles. That means you end up spending $3.55 for every trip to the pet store, assuming the store is 3 miles away.  The electricity and mobile data cost for buying pet food online is negligible. However, we assumed a generous cost of 50 cents for the act of buying the products from an online store.

Total Estimated Waste: Considering the above parameters, you spend $3.55 per month for driving to the pet store. If we subtract 50 cents (the cost we assumed we spent for online ordering), that’s a total waste of $3.05 per month. That adds up to $36.6 per year and a total waste of $329 if your pet lives up to 9 years of age.