CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — We love our pets because they become integral members of our families.
Did you know, pet owners spend nearly $1,400 a year on pet food, waste bags, treats and toys. Then, add vet bills on top of that.
In today's Protecting Your Money segment, we have tips to help protect your money on those expenses.
I have the honor and pleasure of introducing you to Bronco, Lucky and Princess.
They're Katie Galan's children. Well, of course, not actually her children, but her three pets she treats and cares for as if they were her actual children.
She cares for them when she's not representing the Better Business Bureau.
Since today's topic is Protecting Your Money, when it comes to the rising costs of caring for pets, who better to ask?
"So whatever one gets, they all have to get, because if not, they will fight over it," she said.
Galan says a lot of people - confined to their homes due to COVID-19 - bought pets for companionship. That's why we get so attached to them.
"It really is a companionship. And you take care of them, if you're a responsible pet owner, just like you would take care of your children," she told us.
So she's offering tips on what you can do.
Tips to save money on pet expenses:
1. Make your own meals to feed to your pets.
2. Buy in bulk
3. Subscription services
4. Use apps to get cash back
5. Save $ online with browser extensions
6. Look for coupons
Make your own meals to feed to your pets.
Rice, carrots, beans, chicken and lean ground turkey are among the suggested foods.
Galan also suggests buying in bulk.
Might be costly initially, but it will last you longer.
Apps for 'cash back' include Ibotta, Drop and Fetch Rewards. Browser extensions include sites like Befrugal, Rakuten, and Capital One Shopping. Apps that let you know when you could get cash back or save money automatically when shopping online.
"A lot of people are seeing a significant difference, if not a noticeable difference at least, in their grocery bills. And pet food and pet treats definitely fit into budget of buying groceries and the price increase we're seeing," Galan said.