How to prepare low cost raw dog food

How To Prepare Low Cost Raw Dog Food

Low cost raw dog food that’s easy to prepare is a bit of an oxymoron…that’s because at first glance, it seems to be contradictory!

I mean, raw dog food is easiest to prepare when it’s pre-made, which is a convenience that comes at a certain price.

Likewise, low cost raw dog food is available, but the trade off is that you’ll be preparing it yourself. You’ll also have to shop around for different cuts of meat which takes time.

That’s why in this blog post, I’ll show you how to prepare 7 different low cost raw meals that are sourced from the best of both worlds:

a) The grocery store

b) An online raw dog food retailer

How To Prepare Low Cost Raw Dog Food

K9sOverCoffee.com | How to prepare low cost raw dog food

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

As I already said, you can prepare raw meals for your dog(s) from low cost cuts of meat you find at the grocery store.

However, these meals won’t be balanced.

That means that your dog(s) will have nutrient deficiencies if you only feed these types of meals.

Why is that?

Because you need to rotate your dog’s protein sources and cuts of meat in order to provide your pup with the full spectrum of nutrients they’d get from a prey animal in the wild.

That includes a variety of organ cuts (heart, lung, liver, kidneys, pancreas, eyeballs, brains etc), hair or feathers, bones, green tripe…you get the idea.

Sure, you can find certain cuts of chicken, turkey and beef at most grocery stores, but secreting organs like kidneys, pancreas, hairy ears and green tripe are a different story. The same goes for (odd cuts of meat from) ducks, rabbits, lambs etc.

Also, the tripe you find at grocery stores is NOT green tripe! Grocery store tripe has been bleached which strips it of all of its nutrients.

That said, you can feed your pup meals that are sourced purely from the grocery store once or twice per week.

Grocery store foods that are OK to feed as a base:

  • Ground beef, bison, turkey or chicken (breasts) paired with
  • Chicken gizzards and hearts
  • Calf liver
  • Turkey necks, chicken leg quarters (without the skin) or chicken wings
  • Canned sardines and oysters
  • Eggs and
  • Some produce.

Here’s two examples of grocery-store sourced meals you can feed your adult pups twice a week, but please understand that you shouldn’t make it a daily habit.

I’m adding 5 balanced options for the remaining days of the week after these meals, so read on!

Low Cost Grocery Store-Sourced Raw Dog Food For 2 Days Out Of The Week

You can either cut the individual ingredients up into smaller pieces or grind them using a meat grinder.

Tip 1: Buy as many ingredients as you can when they’re on sale! You can keep meat in the freezer for up to one year.

K9sOverCoffee | Buy meat on sale to help keep raw dog food affordable
Shop smart and buy meat when it’s on sale!
K9sOverCoffee.com | What size freezer for raw dog food? Box box drawers on the KOENIC upright freezer
My raw dog food freezer

Tip 2: Use poultry shears to cut up chicken wings, chicken leg quarters or turkey necks.

Day 1

  • Chicken breast, 8 oz
  • Chicken gizzards and hearts, 6 oz
  • Calf liver, 1.6 oz
  • Chicken wings, 4 oz
  • Canned sardines (in water), 1.6 oz
  • 1 egg
  • Steamed and puréed broccoli, 1.6 oz

Day 2

  • Ground beef, 14 oz
  • Calf liver, 1.6 oz
  • Turkey neck, 4.5 oz
  • Canned oysters (in water), 1.6 oz
  • Puréed spinach, 1.6 oz

You can switch out the chicken breast and ground beef for similar cuts of meat. For example, ground turkey, bison or ground lamb.

Tip: I personally only buy ground lamb at the grocery store when it’s on sale. Otherwise I feel that it’s too expensive to use for dog food.

K9sOverCoffee | Ground lamb on sale for $2.99:lb
Ground lamb on sale

You can also make larger batches of each meal option, portion them out into individual food storage containers, then label and freeze them.

K9sOverCoffee.com | Portioning out my dog's raw meal allowances
Food storage containers for raw dog food

You can also alternate between chicken wings, chicken leg quarters, chicken feet and turkey necks for the raw meaty bones.

K9sOverCoffee.com | 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters for $5.90
Chicken leg quarters on sale at a local grocery store (Food Lion)
K9sOverCoffee.com | Chicken feet are sometimes labeled chicken paws (seen at Walmart)
Low cost chicken feet from Walmart

Low Cost Pre-Made Raw Grinds For 5 Days Out Of The Week

I strongly suggest you buy these grinds when they’re on sale and/or use my referral discount link to get an additional 10% off!

To check if they’re on sale, browse RFM’s Monthly Specials section.

That’s how you keep the cost of these pre-made grinds down.

Tip: Mix the grinds with oily fish (smelts, herring, sardines, mackerel) or a veggie mix to turn them into a balanced meal.

For example, Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm, a low carb veggie and bone broth mix, or Green JuJu, a low carb mix of mostly veggies, bison bone broth and lemon.

K9sOverCoffee.com | I use Dr. Harvey's Green Superfood Pre-Mix Paradigm for my raw dog food
Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm ingredients: Broccoli, Green Beans, Bone Broth, Red and Green Bell Pepper, Cabbage, Pumpkin, Crushed Eggshell, Celery, Kelp, Alfalfa, Turmeric, Spirulina, Ginger, Red Clover, Milk Thistle, Slippery Elm, Dandelion, Cinnamon, Tricalcium Phosphate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid
K9sOverCoffee.com | Raw Meal Prep for my dog with Green Juju
Green Juju ingredients: Organic Celery, Organic Zucchini, Organic Kale, Organic Dandelion Greens, Organic Parsley, Bison Bone Broth, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Lemon, Organic Turmeric, Organic Ginger.

Day 3

Grind ingredients: Ground up whole free-range geese 

K9sOverCoffee.com | Combining Goose grinds from Raw Feeding Miami with Dr. Harvey's Paradigm

Day 4

Grind ingredients: Ground up whole ducks with meat and organs (no intestines)

K9sOverCoffee.com | Raw duck grinds with green juju and sardines

Day 5

Grind ingredients: Ground up whole turkeys with organs still intact 

cutting up raw mackerel for raw dog food
Cutting up raw mackerel from RFM

Day 6

Grind ingredients: Ground up whole quails with all their organs and feathers

Raw Feeding Miami Review - Wally eating a whole thread herring from RFM
Wally eating a thread herring from RFM

Day 7

Grind ingredients: Ground up whole rabbits with organs (no intestines or heads)

K9sOverCoffee.com | Raw Feeding Miami review: rabbit grinds from RFM mixed with veggies from Green Juju
Raw rabbit grinds from RFM mixed with Green Juju

How Much To Feed Your Dog

How much to feed on average per day: 3 oz per 10 lbs of body weight.

For example, a 40 lb dog would need 12 oz per day or 6 oz per meal if you feed breakfast and dinner on a daily basis.

Please note that the 3 oz per 10 lbs of body weight is a general guideline.

Since every dog’s daily caloric needs are different, you will probably have to slightly adjust the amount per meal you feed. Meaning you’ll either add a little more or distract a little depending on your dog’s individual needs.

How To Prepare Low Cost Raw Dog Food: Bottom Line

Feeding balanced raw meals doesn’t have to break the bank if you shop smart!

I recommend you buy discounted meats from the grocery store whenever you see that they’re on sale.

If you invest in a freezer for your pup’s raw dog food, you can really take advantage of those meat sales! Remember that you can freeze meat for up to 1 year.

Additionally, browse Raw Feeding Miami’s Monthly Specials section and use my referral discount link to score an additional 10% off!

Content Related to Low Cost Raw Dog Food:

Raw Dog Food Game Changers

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK RAW DOG FOOD

Save 15% on anything at Raw Paws Pet Food with code K9Savings. They’re located in Indiana and ship nationwide within the US.

BEST VARIETY FOR INDIVIDUAL CUTS OF RAW MEAT

Save 10% on your first order of anything at Raw Feeding Miami with this referral link.

BEST SLOW FEEDER FOR RAW FED DOGS

Mighty Paw’s Slow Feed Insert combined with Yeti’s Boomer 4 Dog Bowl. Both are top rack dishwasher safe.

BEST FOUNDATION FOR BALANCED DIY RAW MEALS

Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm Base Mix. It’s low-carb which is particularly great for dogs on a keto diet and those with health issues like diabetes and cancer.

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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