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Suggestions for treats on a Budget-30 days no spending challenge
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Like many of you I am guessing, I have over indulged in treat, toy and chew purchases for my dogs over the years and bought things they didn't need or particularly like. So, I have a made decision not to buy ANYTHING for the dogs for the next 30 days to force me to get creative with their current things and use up the unopened treats hiding in the cupboards. The money I save is going towards a beach vacation for our group and all of our dogs (that gives some clue about how much I overspend on the little monsters). What to do with the left overs and save some dollars by avoiding more unthrifty purchases?

    I've been recycling and buying bulk in group orders with other Shiba owners in my area as much as possible to save on shipping and such. Another friend with a large freezer buys chews off of raw feeding co-ops in bulk, and we all save by splitting the cost. Many sites like Best Bullies offer discounts for large orders, and by far that site has been the most cost effective for all of our dogs.

    Another thing I am trying is recycling old hollow bones (the kind that came with edible stuffing) by freezing peanut butter and free kibble samples inside of the them, as well as doing this with the million Kong toys I thought I needed when I bought my first Shiba. You can get free kibble samples in almost any smaller chain store or boutique, and those make great training treats. Be greedy and grab a bunch! Fib a little and say you never fed grain free and heard good things about it! The stores get them by the box full for free.

    I also started filling cow hooves with frozen wet food (my friend calls them Hoof Stuffers), and the old hollow bones with a bully stick inside to make a little Pizzle Puzzle. To make the Pizzle Puzzle more challenging, you can fill the inside of the bone with some peanut butter or canned food and freeze it so it cements the bully. Also, when I buy canned, I buy in bulk and aim for about 1-1.50 a can overall. So, I still buy premium brand name meats but enough of it so the merchant gives big discounts, and I try to only buy cans at dog shows. If you want to save on premium canned, visit the vendor booths at dog shows and make them an offer.

    Anybody have any other suggestions about repurposing old chews or toys? Anybody in the Seattle area want to go in on some bulk orders for chews and treats? I get great breeder discounts with Evangers...

    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2012-03-03 13:09:00
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    One site to look at is Sometimes they report good deals on dog treats, I once got 25 pounds of treats for 40 bucks flat shipping included, its just really rare to get good deals from good dog food vendors. Petco also does a lot of 20-70% off during holidays if your signed up with them for emails. Foster and smith is good too. I was able to get 5 pounds of duck jerky for 15 bucks one year. I spend a lot of time hunting deals on the internet, but its so luck based.

    I tend to get himilayin chews, and puff up the ends later. I resticth old toys, but I tend to get those on deals. Ikea has these great toys made for babies, they are like 50 cents a piece. I have this one ball from there that has lasted 4 years, the stitching is pretty amazing because my dogs play tug of war with it daily. They also have rats and small animal shapes, or giant animals, I think they don't go more for 7 bucks, and my pets all love them. Best part being they are all machine and dryer safe.

    I even use the carboard boxes from shipping, a treat inside an upside down box, is lots of fun. Old socks make wonderful balls you can hide treats in (superivsed fun ofcourse).

    I make treats out of anything, sardines are so cheap in a tin, generally around 40 cents and its easy to find them in bulk, I also have a place where talpia, flounder and shrimp goes 5 pounds for ten bucks all packed individually.

    Posts: 1507
    @lindsay, you have brought up an interesting topic. I dehydrate chicken breast as a treat. Not so much as to save money but for quality control. Many treats and toys are made in China and avoid them with a passion.

    Another idea has been on my mind for awhile. Other forums that I've been a member of have an area where you can donate or exchange items that you no longer need or use. When my son was in elementry school they had a uniform and school supply exchange where you could donate uniforms or supplies that you no longer used.

    For myself i've collected many dog related items that are just taking up storage space. Maybe, an exchange thread can be started on this forum. I never brought this up before because I don't know if this is allowed on this forum.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Home-made all the way! You can use whatever you do for people, as long as your dogs don't react bad to it. That's what I do if I run out of treats. I just cut up some meat or bake something.

    Heh, I don't think I could ever go 30 days without spending something on Conker. And that's just one dog! You have many more than me so it's not much of an easy comparison.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    It's ok to do an exchange here. Craigslist is what I use, but if anyone has good gear they want to rehome, feel free to post it in ONE thread.

    Food dehydrators are great. My friend has one so I rely on her to make Eli and Ike treats.

    30 days, 5 dogs, no problem! I challenge you all to the same (30 days, but not the 5 dogs) and to report back with any neat things you come up with.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2012-03-03 13:07:36
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Ohhh, this is a FUN challenge. And luckily, I've just stocked up, so it's actually possible for me to participate -- starting from today. ;) I don't have a dehydrator, but I currently have some turkey dogs soaking in water to remove excess salt, and i was going to cut them up and pop them in the oven. I also like the milk the freebies at my local pet boutique. But I sort of feel bad about grabbing more than a couple packs unless I bought something...
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • Zim loves soda boxes. We just put the whole box in the fridge and we kept them because my rats used them as nest boxes. Then one day Zim found one that we'd just taken out of the fridge and he was THRILLED with it. I think it smelled like the fridge and he could tear it apart. He'll also chase them if we move them around like prey.
  • BrewSterBrewSter
    Posts: 193
    feed them the bad neighborhood children :) only kidding :P ANYWHO @losech has the right idea , if you have eggs,hard boile them and give the white as a treat and yolk crumbled over food,if you have low sodioum hot dogs,well thats easy (brewster loves hot dogs) if you microwave it and let it cool it sort becomes a tasty chew toy
  • Adonia1986Adonia1986
    Posts: 451
    I know someone who used to hard boil quail eggs, cut them in half and give them as treats....
    Stefanie & Sakura Twin Cities - MN
  • ladyritaladyrita
    Posts: 102
    I got laughed at the first time I did this but it works and is completely FREE. I went down to the fish monger with my Dad to pick up some fish for dinner and asked the mongers if they had any leftover salmon skin from the filleted salmon. They gave me the strangest look and asked why on earth I wanted it...I said for my dog. They looked at me and burst into laughter. I will be shameless for my dog, I didn't care! They ended up giving me a bucketload of salmon skin and know to save some for me every Friday.

    Now Tsumo has salmon skin snacks whenever he wants!

    Edit: I pop the skins flat on a baking tray in the oven on low with a bit of olive oil on top until they are crispy
    Post edited by ladyrita at 2012-03-04 07:17:44
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786

    Awesome use of resources!
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • deerparkdeerpark
    Posts: 237
    This thread is brilliant! My husband just commented that we would be able to do this because we probably just bought a whole months worth of treats yesterday from the dog show vendors so we prob don't need anymore, hahaha. I feel your pain @lindsayt in spending way too much on treats than the doggies will ever realize. Especially cause the healthier well made treats are usually on the higher price spektrum.

    I wish I could bulk buy with others. Hello anyone from Southeastern Michigan? =P I even considered getting a business license in order to buy straight from the manufacturer. I often pet sit my family Great Danes, so you can imagine how fast we go through treats!

    So I don't have any suggestion for free stuff that has not already been mentioned. But I do have cost saving ideas. For training my dog who is the worlds pickiest eater. I get bulk deli meats at my local market for crazy cheap. They sell us an assortments of deli "ends", like the part where is not uniform and people somehow don't wanna put on their sandwich. I am not a fan of the high sodium content so I dunk it in boiling water to hopefully remove some of the sodium, cut it in treat size munchies and bake.

    Then if I have time, I sometimes puree it and use it to make dog biscuits. Speaking of dog biscuits. I have also used the pulp, like apple and celery from my juicing to make dog biscuits. But as I said before, my dog is the worlds pickiest eater, so that stuff does not fly with him, but maybe it will yours!

    This is not treat related but it can save you money. When pet sitting my family two senior GreatDanes that can't hold their bladder, I find it difficult to wash beds that are big and won't fit in the washing machine. Until I found this.... instead of buying mattresses I just used old clothes, blankets, towels.... It's awesome! Tip, do try and fold it in a way that it will be less lumpy, the Danes did not appreciate the lumpyness.

    Looking forward to more tips!

  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    @ladyrita, that's awesome! I might ask around too.

    Instead, I bought these salmon ears (purchased last month! so I've not broken the vow... yet!). Hey, if you learn a trick or two during this 30-day challenge, maybe you could turn your treat-making skills into somebody else's financial temptation. ;)
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.

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