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.
Save money at mealtime! Some 53 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats are overweight or obese, putting them at risk for cancer, diabetes and other diseases. So measure portions precisely—if you miscalculate by half a cup daily, it could add up to a 44-pound bag of food annually. Also, check with your vet, because inactive altered animals might need smaller amounts. You could save $40 to $62 annually with this strategy.
How I save: "I make my own diet dog food by swapping in salt-free green beans—at 50 cents a can—for some kibble. Our overweight lab got back in shape, and we saved $40 on her food last year." —Janelle Frick, 56, Columbia, S.C.