We Americans dote on our dogs and cats—with cuddles and cash. In fact, on average, each U.S. house-hold spends about $500 per year on pets! You might have your own ways to save, but here you can find strategies to leave $700 or more in your pocket while giving your critters the love and attention they deserve.
See if the veterinary technician at your local practice performs basic tasks including vaccine boosters, nail trimming and ear cleaning. That can save you the doctor's exam fee—about $50, depending on where you are. (Ask for the tech when you call.) Think outside the vet's office, too: You can get low-cost vaccines from shelters and pet stores on visiting-clinic days. The Luv My Pet clinic (luvmypet.com) offers a kitten pack with a dewormer, a leukemia vacccination and a three-in-one distemper combo for $49—a $26 savings
How I save: "The low-cost vaccine clinic at the animal shelter near me really helps with my dogs. I pay only $5 for their shots and the required city license—which has added up to a lot over the years." —Robin Hunt, 43, Bakersfield, Calif.