Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monthly Feature: Big Dog, Small Budget

We started this Monthly Feature to explain how we live with a big dog on a small budget.  Many people wrote they don't or can't even imagine how much they spend per month.  The simple fact is that we live loan to loan so we have to really contemplate the value of each $ spent.  Additionally, we thought that by sharing the various sites and coupons we use, we may give others good ideas.  Alternatively, if we're spending too much money - we were hoping you would share some good ideas!

So here is our November round-up!  

3 Dog Walking Sessions with RuffCity DogWalkers - $70 
(Her Thanksgiving walk was only 30 minutes, which is $15, with a $5 holiday cost)
Pet Dental Toothpaste from Amazon Prime - $5.43
12 Months of FrontLine from PetSupplies.com - $137.88
800 Poop Bags from Amazon - $1.49 
(The original cost of the poop bags was $26.49, but Law Student participated in a focus group at school and received a $25 Amazon gift card)
November Total: $239.79

June: $149.31
July: $111.99
August: $193.22
September: $182.83
October: $198.63
November: $239.79
YTD: $1075.77

This month was definitely more expensive than most.  This is mostly due to the cost of FrontLine.  However, the FrontLine and poop bags last one full year.  Luckily, we saved some money with only three walks and that Amazon gift card!

Any tips on ways to save?!

PS We are going to start responding to blog comments...you guys always say such helpful things!


  1. I would eliminate Frontline and explore herbal alternatives. But that is just me and it's too late anyway.

  2. I use a less expensive herbal flea/tick preventative in the "off months" and Frontline itself during peak tick season. How often do you need to buy food for Havi? Also, do you typically leave her a bone/treat when you leave, or not? I've been trying to cut down on this with my pups, but generally I always give them a Kong or treat when I leave.

  3. If you are buying Frontline, I'm guessing you have a heartworm preventative that costs a lot of money too. I use Revolution on our dogs right now and for only a little more than you pay for Frontline, you could save a lot more by going with an all-in-one product :)

  4. @Jan - never too late...well look into it!

    @of pit bulls - I feel we should use something more expensive in the off months, esp because she SO rarely leaves NYC anyway! We usually buy food (Evo) every 5 weeks, it somehow wound up that it didn't fall within this month! We cant give Havi that much in the way of treats because of her food issues but we usually buy a huge box of milkbones (one of the few things she can handle) from Costco about three times a year.

    @HP - we are DEF asking about Revolution!!

  5. In the cold months, I only use the Frontline every three months. It is good for fleas for three months, says so right on the package. It only kills ticks for a month though.

    I make a lot of my own treats. Turkey hot dogs - $1.00 package. Quarter them long ways, cut them into tiny 1/2 inch bite sized training treats. Microwave them on a papertowell to dry them out.

    Cut up baby carrots if your dog will eat veggies.

    Slice up raw boneless chicken breasts. Drizzle with a small amount of canola or olive oil (maybe two tablespoons for four breasts) and a small amount of garlic powder and parsley. Mix it up to coat with oil. Spread it out on a baking sheet, cook on a low temperature, stirring it around every ten minutes or so, until dried out. Store in fridge. Lasts about a week. I've also done this with boneless pork chops and venison steaks....my dogs all love it.

  6. PS - 12 months of Frontline from Foster and Smith is only $128.99 with free shipping and they often have sales on it. I've shopped around and they usually have the best price.

  7. Here is what I do with my dogs.... They are not on frontline, I keep them bathed and use a flea comb REGULARLY to keep an eye on if they picked up one from outside or at the park. If you catch that one flea before it has a chance to multiply then it can save you a bunch of money on frontline.. also I vacuum a LOT to also help pick up stray fleas!

  8. Do you have a Dollar Tree or other kind of $1 store? You can usually find a pack of 60 poop bags for $1. You would spend $14 for 840 bags.