meh, the cats don't like rice. Fine, cats.
Recently I found a whole wave of resources for free cat food and thought i'd share what is going on. I am not recommending begging on the streets for cat food, but if you find yourself in a really tight spot, i am finding others are happy to help out.
Over the last few weeks I've gotten free cat food:
- from my sister, who saw on facebook that I was bottle feeding six baby kittens as an emergency fosterer. She realized that made 12 cats i was supporting and sent me a $20 Walmart gift card for cat food. I have since found a wet nurse for the infants, so i am back to a normal six (five of my own and one feral i feed). This is so incredibly generous of my sister, who barely has enough money of her own. I am thankful!
- With the walmart card, I was able to carpool with another to the nearest walmart and figure out the cheapest price per ounce bag of cat food. With the $20, i could afford two 16 pound bags. Yes, it's not high quality cat food. But it's food. I looked at the bottom shelf and noticed that the ones way in the back on and on the bottom were offering each a 20% extra free amount of cat food, bringing the bags up to around 20 pounds. Basically, between the two bags with the extra percent, I was able to get the equivalent of another half a bag of free cat food. I always recommend looking closely at products to see if the ones in the back are having % more promotionals. You'd be shocked how often this happens, and people don't even know they missed out on the free extras.
- I've been trading some of the many free boxes i get of just-past-edible food (from food pantries) to a cat shelter that they in turn give to their livestock. The cat shelter gives me free bags of donated cat food that their cats won't eat (they give their cats the good stuff). Recently I've gotten about five bags and boxes of various sizes. They also give me goats milk for the babies i bottle feed when they come along. They consider me a foster mom in their program and it works out for them.
- My local animal control often has extra bags of donated cat food and they will give me some when i ask.
- A local pet shop in town always has free small bags of cat food samples and once a month i go in and ask for some. they usually give me around six little sample bags. Those I keep for the emergency days when I am in between cat food and have no cash.
- my ALCO is having a sale this weekend where if you spend $50 you get a $10 shopping card. On Sunday, my food stamps go thruogh for June. My plan is to go in and get $50 worth of food products with the food stamps and get my $10 free card...and in turn use THAT for a nice big bag of cat food.
- There are ways to use 'free money' at Walgreens and CVS to also get free ct food. It's rather complicated to learn all their rules, but if you look at their weekly circulars you can find Extra Bucks and Register Rewards deals. If you work those right, you can get free money to spend on pet food.
- you can often do this with supermarkets too when they have a catalina special. Those are the long coupons that spit out of the machine by the register.
I assume these ideas can be adapted for dog food or whatever. I really think the produce barter idea for livestock has potential, and it also keeps important soil nutrients out of the landfills.