Since my last blog post I started recording the prices of the ingredients I use to make Gracie's Doggie Chef meals. I wanted to figure out how much a Doggie Chef meal actually costs.
I also started recording the prices of some commercial dog foods, the recommended feeding amounts for a dog of Gracie's weight and how much these commercial dog food meals would cost.
I'm still in the process of collecting and organizing the data but I do have some results to share today:
ONE DOGGIE CHEF MEAL (pictured above):
Roast chicken, cooked with corn oil
Whole wheat bread
Bone meal powder
Doggie Chef Meal Cost: Approximately $1.23
COMMERCIAL DOG FOOD COST COMPARISON:
One meal of California Natural Lamb Meal & Rice dry kibble
Cost: Approximately $1.41
One meal of Alpo Prime Cuts canned dog food
Cost: Approximately $2.10
One meal of Dad's Economets Beef Flavor Two Tasty Pieces dry kibble
Cost: Approximately $.54 cents
How I Figured Out the Cost of the Above Doggie Chef Chicken Meal:
One, 5.23 lb, whole chicken, at $.99 per pound cost $5.18.
After cooking, it yielded about 8 meat servings for Gracie (when amounts and figures weren't exact, I estimated and rounded up, in favor of costing more) or $.65 cents per meal.
Gracie's store bought whole wheat bread cost $2.09 per loaf and yields 19 slices. One slice costs $.11 cents and equals 1 meal serving.
A bag of brown rice cost $.68 per pound, or $.34 per cup, uncooked. One cup, uncooked, yields 10 meal servings when cooked. Cost: $.03 - $.04 cents per meal serving.
A 1-pound bag of frozen, baby sweet peas cost $2.20. When I serve Gracie peas I use about 15 peas, or less, per meal. There are too many peas in the bag to count so I estimated a minimum of 22 servings (22, 15-pea servings;) in the bag (yet I'm sure the bag contains more servings), so $.10 cents per meal for peas.
When I feed Gracie yogurt, she usually eats Greek yogurt. It costs $4.99, from the local grocery store, for 16 ounces (or 2 cups). I usually include about 2 tablespoons in a Doggie Chef meal. Since 1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons, or 2 meal servings, I figure the whole container = 16 meal servings for $4.99. $4.99 divided by 16 = about $.31 cents per meal serving.
A few times a week I add corn oil to Gracie's meals. I can't remember how much my 48 ounce bottle of corn oil costs but I'll overestimate and say it cost $4.00. 8 fluid ounces = 48 teaspoons. So 48 fluid ounces = 288 teaspoons. Which equals 576, 1/2 teaspoons, which is about the serving size I give Gracie. The corn oil costs less than $.01 cent per meal serving.
A few times a week I add bone meal powder to Gracie's meals. One, 8-ounce bottle of KAL Bone Meal Powder cost about $8.50. The bottle lasts longer than a year and Gracie gets bone meal powder only a few times a week. I figure it costs less than $.07 cents per meal serving.
I was pleased to learn the Doggie Chef meal pictured above cost less than a meal of California Naturals dry dog food, or a meal of Alpo canned dog food. Of course, time is money. It does take extra time to prepare Doggie Chef meals for Gracie. Yet I consider it an enjoyable hobby. In a future blog post I'll share the cost of other Doggie Chef meals and other commercial dog food meals.