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Author Topic: Cost of Homemade Food  (Read 23931 times)
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JustMe
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« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2009, 03:37:35 AM »

This thread has been dormant for awhile, but I wonder again, with the current economy, is it more economical to make your own cat and/or dog food than to buy commercial?  I know the main reason to prepare your own is health and safety.  When you add in the cost of supplements, does homemade cost less or more than commercial?
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Eventually they will understand,
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For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
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Spartycats
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« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2009, 04:02:52 AM »

I'm not very mathematical-minded, but in our case I know it's cheaper than throwing canned food down the disposal.  Tongue  And I know it must cost less, making renal recipes, than what the big companies charge for their therapeutic foods.

I don't feed exclusively homemade.  My crf cat gets probably 80% homemade.  Once I bought the supplements, they have lasted me a long time.  In the last year, I've only bought additional taurine.  (I have enough dulse to last everyone's lifetime!).  The biggest expense for me is the organic chicken (or New Zealand lamb), but I don't feel comfortable with anything else.  BF uses organic eggs, so he shares those.  I use more starch (potatoes) for the crf cat, so that stretches the budget.  The younger cats are supplemented with commercial canned, raw, and kibble. 
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lesliek
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« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2009, 07:02:36 AM »

Its still a lot cheaper. I pick up supplements on sale & stock up when the health food store does it semi annual 25 & 35% off coupons. I bought an extra chest freezer so I can buy in bulk & stock up when I get a good buy on meats,I cook them & grind them & bag measured by lb to make it easier when defrosting & making the food. I even cook my organic rice ahead & freeze it.You do lose a little taurine when freezing so I supplememnt.Got a case of BluBonnet with the coupon from the health food store,so each bottle of 50[500mg-USA] is only about $6. I like to stock up on fruit & veggies while the local farm markets have them & freeze them too.I usually make batches of approx 40-50 lbs of meat,it takes hours but then I have several weeks worth in the freezer ready to go.[Tip-don't make a big batch with any new ingredient until you know they are all ok with it] Luckily the 2 bigger dogs have no food issues & can eat anything the cats & Remy can't.I haven't broken down the exact cost lately,but it used to run me less than $2 a lb finished so probably just slightly higher now. I did check cost on ordering bulk boneless chicken at the meat market 2 weeks ago. I can order 40lbs of organic boneless breasts at $1.90 a lb or thighs at $1.60.The dog mix [trim & organs]is still $.55 lb in 10 lbs & up.I use that raw occasionally,but prefer it cooked because of the fat levels in it.Also pork loins have gone on sale here at $.99 & $1.49,I bought 5 all over 12 lbs. If you have the freezer space,make large batches of different ingredients & mark them batch #1 or #2,that way they aren't eating the same thing every day.Thats also a good way to add fish  & liver without overdoing it.
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petslave
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« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2009, 08:58:35 AM »

Wow, lesliek, that is very cheap for organic chicken!  It's like $6/lb here for whole chickens.  I've been using Foster Farms and a local non-free range brands more lately to cut my costs further.  I was already below Wellness canned costs using free-range, but now it's even cheaper.  I wish I could use organic chicken for the cats' food, but it's common brands now for them.  I just tell myself it's still a lot better than what is in commercial pet food.

Now that I have a chest freezer I can take advantage of meat sales, which has really cut costs.  The big dogs are the most expensive to feed.  I haven't kept track of their food costs as well as the cat food, but I'm sure it's cheaper to feed them kibble.

Lesliek, what are you doing for calcium supplements?  That's the biggest problem for me.  The eggshell thing is just too tedious and I'm not sure what's the best form or brand to order for supplements.  No one around here has just straight Calcium citrate or carbonate.
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JustMe
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« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2009, 09:05:19 AM »

I've been using Eggshellent powdered shells.

http://www.pet-grub.com/pet-supplements/eggshellent-calcium.pets

http://www.homevet.com/osc/product_info.php?products_id=39
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Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.
Poem for Cats, author unknown

"A kitten in the animal kingdom is like a rosebud in a garden", author unknown
Katie
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« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2009, 03:01:27 PM »

petslave; $6 for chicken is unbelievable!  organic deboned chicken breasts are usually prepackaged here at a high of 2.99 and as low as 1.87; same for chicken tenders and chicken thighs were 0.67/lb last week. Chicken prices two years ago - were not that inexpensive. This is the stores "no name" organic. The "Rosie's" organic whole chickens are $5.29/lb.  I've found the store will even lower the price if I ask for 15 to 20 lbs. in one package. Like everyone else I buy large quanities and freeze. Also make large batches and freeze. I do the same as lesliek and shop vegies and fruits, etc on sale. I also watch for slightly bruised produce. I haven't really compared price penny for penny but I think it's equal to or cheaper than commercial. I used to be a stickler for trying to make every meal exactly right for vitamins and minerals; but have to admit I don't sit with a spreadsheat daily anymore - her nutrients are in the ballpark, she is healthy and happy; something I couldn't say for the commercial food back in 2007.

Since I started homecooking; I go to the vet a whole lot less - so there's money saved there. Geriatric bloodwork in March was all normal and BUN is now middle of normal range. The vet now recommends home cooking to her clients!! she said they all look amazing!

Katie




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lesliek
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« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2009, 04:55:40 PM »

I still do my own eggshells & also grind calcium citrate caps in a coffee bean grinder. I've used the Nature's Bounty & some off brands. I can't afford all organic either,today Shady Brook ground turkey was on sale for $4.49 for 3 lbs & I bought 24 lbs of it. I prefer not to buy preground meats,but I have cooked it & will bag it in 5lb size & add a little to different batches. I buy local eggs at a good price & add scrambled eggs as part of the meat & save the shells for calcium. I find if I wash ,cook & crumble them ,its not so hard to do them in big batches. I spend a few hours grinding them & keep the powder frozen. The biggest time saver is to do the meats & veggies & fruit as you get it & freeze it. Do the eggshells when you have enough to make a few baggies. That way when you make a batch its mostly defrosting & mixing.  I got 3 -13 1/2 qt bowls[real USA stainless] for mixing & have lots of plastic containers. It takes a few hours to mix,measure & clean up but I get approx 2 1/2 weeks out of a batch. At first I would panic if I forgot something,but whatever you make,even scrambled eggs has to be better & cheaper than commercial.If anyone is close to NJ it might be worth it to order that animal mix in large amounts. It's still $.55 lb.If you have any local meat markets or butcher shops ask about meat trim & organs,they might sell it to you cheap. Made some chicken & rice with only calcium added for my neighbors dog who has been vomitting & having diarrhea & she called tonight to ask what she could start making for them. Even adding leftovers to commercial will help.
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Melody
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« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2009, 06:47:51 AM »

Cost analysis is definitly not my thing, thanks for your efforts.

Before I had large freezers, I relied a lot on canned food sales.  My focus is seafood so I'd grab canned shrimp, clams, crab, etc., when it was on sale, as well as canned vegies.  With such a long shelf life, it saved me a ton of money (still does, for that matter).  The only catch was salt - many canned foods have too much.  If I can't find low-sodium, I soak and rinse them.   Hardly a month goes by that I don't find a screaming good deal on something canned, often well under a dollar even for organics.

The vet bill savings is a very good point!  With fish, they simply die when not cared for properly, so it's a lot of sad goodbyes as well as financial loss.

It says something when your child opens the fridge and says routinely "Is that for us or the fish?"    Cheesy
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Melody
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« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2010, 09:19:14 PM »

What is the best way to cook the meat (chicken) for cats....I just can't get my head around "raw" feeding?
Also....can you use baby food in place of canned cat food ..... the cats do eat dry so they are still getting vitamins/supplements in that food?
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lesliek
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« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2010, 04:49:03 AM »

Steamed or baked is the best way to prep, but hard if you are doing large batchs. If you are just trying this, stick with small batchs until they are eatingit well. I wouldn't use plain babyfood, but you could try using it as the protein or part of the protein in your recipe.
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merrihart
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« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2010, 08:44:58 AM »

I tried plain baby food with my 15  yr old, Bucky, and it gave him the runs.  I didn't know about pumpkin, then.
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lesliek
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« Reply #41 on: June 22, 2011, 01:12:13 PM »

I had to come here to brag about todays shopping trip ! Superfresh had boneless chicken on sale $1.79 a lb last week & were out, so I got a raincheck for 4-3lb pkgs. This week they had it on sale for $2.99 lb & organic for $4.19. But they were out of regular & substituted the organic for $2.99 lb. There were enough pkgs going out of date on the 24th that I got 8- 1.5 lb & up pkgs at the raincheck price & an extra $1 off each pkg. So I just bought $85.97 worth of organic boneless breasts for $28.71. Yeah !! Grin  I will cook & freeze them tonight. I just love a great sale !
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Fizzy1
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« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2011, 01:28:36 PM »

 Shocked  That is Great!  Good going!  I live for bargains like that, lol.  (Have you seen that show on cable, Extreme Couponing?  I'm not quite there....yet Wink)
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lesliek
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« Reply #43 on: June 22, 2011, 03:57:06 PM »

I love that show ! I don't do that well either, but in order to you have to be buying a lot of prepared foods. I don't buy much of that. Mostly fresh meat, fish ,fruit & veggies. I spent $67 dollars today ,including the 8 pkgs of chicken & 2 of bacon & saved $106 at Superfresh. They had butter on sale for 1.99 a lb too. I also went to Acme & spent $85 ,mostly on chips & canned fish on sale & some Sundown & NB fish oil & CoQ10 & organic Lundberg rice. I saved $124 there.I also bought organic parsly, basil & oregano & milk at Acme. So for all that I got, not too bad on the savings.
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