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Just switched to raw- wow is this expensive

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, I was wondering if I could get some advice for how to go about feeding raw when on a budget. We just switched our 1 year old Great Pyrenees from Orijen to raw, and I am shocked at how expensive it is- we are ATM spending roughly $5 a day on him! I have been to several butchers asking if they have any offcuts or scraps that they could give me, and they have all said no they don't do that. I've scoured the supermarket for the past 2 weeks trying to find cheap meat but it's never been lower than $4 for about 3 pounds of chicken. We just switched 2 weeks ago so he's still on chicken at the moment, I can't imagine putting him on something like pork or beef right now, it's getting to be too much.

 

Any advice? I was considering contacting some hunters in the area, but the only thing they really hunt over here is rabbit and, I just can't do that. We have two house rabbits at home, it just feels wrong. We live in the UK so it's a lot more expensive, we were spending £60 a bag on Orijen (I think that's around $110), and I thought we'd definitely save money going raw but that's not working out as planned. Any suggestions would be very appreciated!

post #2 of 8

We've been feeding our 2 dogs (a Chihuahua and a Fox Terrier mix) raw chicken or turkey most of the time for several years now. Occasionally we will get other types of meat but those are the cheapest and easiest for us to get.

We buy a 10 lb bag of chicken leg quarters which lasts about a week for both of them. I think it is between $5-$8 for a bag like that usually.

 A bag of commercial dry dog food might be as much as $20- $45 for 10 lbs which would last us maybe 3 days. IME, with many of these dog foods the majority of the food would just pass through them and end up as poop on the lawn. They poop much less on a raw diet.

 

We switched them to raw food for health reasons and have seen a big improvement. It would be hard if it cost $10 per day to feed both of them. We might not be able to afford that at all.

 

I guess if I were you I'd see if there was an internet group or forum like on Yahoo or Facebook for people feeding raw in the UK, in your specific area or for your breed of dog to see if they can point you to good deals or sources. Stock up when you can.

 

Good luck!

post #3 of 8

I used the yahoo group CarnivoreFeed-Supplier to find raw food for our dog while we had her.  Through them I found a great local company who produced a nutritionally complete raw food at $1.30/pound!  I would buy a case of chubs each month then keep them in the freezer.

 

I think there's mostly US suppliers on CarnivoreFeed-Supplier, but maybe asking around in that community can help you find a supplier in UK.

All the best!
 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the suggestions, I had a look on the raw yahoo group and found a few ideas. I'm going to try contacting a few slaughterhouses in the area and see if they can hook me up with some scraps.

Our boy's breeder raised him on a partially raw diet, so he never really took to kibble. He is absolutely LOVING the new diet, it'll be really tough if we have to switch him off it so I'm hoping we can make this work!
post #5 of 8

also check with butchers, and start reading grocery flyers every week. When you see a good sale stock up! We set a limit of $1.50/lb but strived for .99/lb.

post #6 of 8

I feed an English Mastiff raw so I understand that for giant breeds who eat a lot it can be expensive. Where I live, there are a couple of raw feeding co-ops, one offers only local grass-fed/natural meats (bison, beef, llama, lamb and pork) and depending on the cut costs between $2 - $3 a pound and the other buys bulk from suppliers, mostly green tripe, and centralizes the distribution which makes the prices under $2 a pound. I wonder if there are raw feeding co-ops like these in the UK? I do know that there are several Brits on the rawk9s yahoo list who might have some suggestions for you to make it more economical.

post #7 of 8

I have a lab, so not as big as yours, but she shares food with the cat.  Every week I go through approximately the following:

 

- 1 kilo chicken backs & necks (this is a standing order I have at a small local grocery - they have a good butcher) - less than $3

- 1 whole pink salmon around 3-4 lbs, previously frozen (ie, not high quality) - between $7-8

- 2 pkgs beef heart - between $4-5

- 1 1/2 lb pkg beef liver - comes with my bulk beef order, so I don't really count it - my beef lady usually tosses me a bunch when other people don't want it

- 2 pkgs frozen smelt - less than $5

- 14 eggs ($4.60)

- 14 bulk-grade carrots (<$1)

 

I cut the dog's food into chunks and freeze it in single-serving (8 oz) bags and run the cat's through the meat grinder (cat doesn't get eggs or carrots) and freeze that in 2 servings per bag.  I usually have a bit left over at the end of the week, so it probably works out to $25/week when you take the fact that a "week" of food works out to more like 8 days.  Much less than if I were buying Orijen, here - it's very expensive - although the cat does have some standby Orijen crunchies to shut him up if it's not actually mealtime but he didn't bother to show up and get fed when appropriate.  But when I have bought kibble, it's been more like $30/week just for the dog.

 

And yes, my pets are spoiled.  The dog used to get just chicken backs and necks and that was slightly cheaper, but the vet said that as she ages it would be better to give a variety of proteins.

 

So...I don't know that's a whole lot cheaper given the relative cost of food in our two areas.  I have a total food budget of a little over $200/week for the entire family, including pets, and it's not generally a problem to stay within it, and we eat really well (we also get bulk meat orders a couple times a year - hence the "little over" part of $200/week).  Organic local produce, all whole foods, etc.  That's for 2 adults, 1 child and 2 pets.  If we cut out the pet food from that we would be 3 people eating very well on, say $180/week - just to give you a comparison of general food costs.

post #8 of 8

I recommend Raw to Go, here's their website http://rawtogo.co.uk/

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