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The best Black Friday deal this year for me is pet food — really

small terrier running with empty dog food bowl in mouth
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Black Friday deals season is essentially a competition among retailers to try and get you to spend money. There are deals on just about everything you can imagine, from expensive TVs all the way to ordinary household items.

Over the years I've seen Black Friday deals get steadily less and less appealing. It may be that as I get older I just don’t need very much. Or it could be that the deals really aren’t as good as they were even just a few short years ago. Still, one early Black Friday deal caught my eye — 30% off my dog’s favorite brand of food.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying one of the best Black Friday deals, it's always worth remembering that a lot of everyday essentials also get discounted at this time of year. 

Whether you’re after a new TV, a comfier mattress, an iPad, or a new appliance to spruce up your kitchen, you can usually save some money. But they aren't your only options, as my 30% dog food discount shows.

Up to 40% off your first Autoship order @ Chewy (opens in new tab)
Get your all-important pet supplies, from food to cat litter, shipped to you on a schedule with Chewy's AutoShip service. And, until November 29, you can save up to 40% on your first order, and 5% off thereafter.

Save up to 40% on Wag brand pet food @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
Amazon sells just about everything these days, and pet supplies are no exception. With the retailer going all in on Black Friday sales for another year, you can now save up to 40% off the retailer's 'Wag' brand pet food

Needless to say I exploited this deal as much as I could, and now I have an extra five months supply of kibble on the way. But I have absolutely zero regrets, unlike the 40-inch 4K TV I got in a Black Friday deal a few years back.

The deal in question came from Pets at Home, the U.K.’s biggest chain of pet stores, and has huge warehouse-like stores across the country. For American readers, they’re roughly analogous to PetSmart or PetCo.

The deal was up to 30% off your first ‘easy-repeat’ delivery — essentially a subscription that delivers pet supplies to you every 4-12 weeks. You already save 10% by subscribing, and an extra 30% off on top of that was too good to pass up. Especially since I already buy my dog food from Pets at Home.

I have tried to move my pooch onto a different, slightly cheaper brand of food before, but you definitely don’t want to hear why I gave up on that plan pretty quickly. 

I have a yellow lab, a breed that’s notoriously hungry, and he’s a pretty big one at that. So a 15kg/33lb bag of food lasts me around five weeks. Now, on top of the food I already had, I have enough dog food to last me until late May, plus enough dental chews to last me until late August.

yellow labrador in the forest

Dog tax (Image credit: Tom Pritchard/Tom's Guide)

I still spent £147 ($198), but saved £56 ($75) off the normal price. Which isn’t bad going for stuff I was going to have to buy anyway, and won’t go bad for a good 12-18 months. Honestly? I would have bought more if the site would let me, but I’d already saved as much as the terms and conditions would allow.

This year I decided I would be doing Black Friday correctly, with a dedicated list of stuff I want, rather than letting myself get drawn in with impulse purchasing. Impulse purchasing is how I ended up with a TV I didn’t really need, and the hassle of trying to return its defective stand caused it to fall over in the middle of the night. Needless to say, that TV has been mounted on the wall for some time.

But all the things on my list aren’t essentials. I’ve been looking for discounts on the SteelSeries Arctis 7X wireless headphones for my gaming, and Seagate’s expansion cards for the Xbox Series X. I’m also keeping an eye out for good vacuum deals because mine, while perfectly competent, is struggling to collect all the excess fur a fully-grown labrador can produce. But while these are things I want, but could happily live without them.

Meanwhile, I was going to have to purchase dog food at some point anyway. I likely wouldn’t have purchased 60kg/133lbs in one go, but there was no reason why I couldn’t do it — especially since that discount wasn’t going to be available for ever.

In fact, just two days after I placed my order, it appears to have vanished from Pets at Home’s (opens in new tab) Black Friday sales page. Lucky me I guess.

Obviously there are still deals available (opens in new tab) at Pets at Home. 30% off your first month’s supply of flea, tick and worm treatment with the code FLEABF, up to 30% off selected dog accessories, and 2kg bags of dog food for £7 instead of £10, and more.

Meanwhile Pets at Home aren’t the only people doing this. Chewy (opens in new tab) is offering up to 40% off your first Autoship order (opens in new tab), which is essentially the same deal I just took advantage of — albeit with a $20 limit on savings. Meanwhile Amazon also has a bunch of deals on pet supplies (opens in new tab), including up to 40% off its own ‘Wag’ brand pet food (opens in new tab).

Even if you don’t have a pet, Black Friday needn’t be about buying gadgets or expensive items that you might just be buying because they’re on sale. Or that the discount is so meager, it probably wasn’t worth waiting for anyway.

If there are deals on essential products you’re going to have to buy anyway, and you can afford to pick them up in bulk right now, then you should definitely take advantage of the savings. Particularly if it’s an especially good deal that doesn’t come around very often — like saving almost a third on keeping your pet well fed for almost half a year.

Amazon has a dedicated Black Friday page for groceries (opens in new tab), as well as deals on health and personal care products (opens in new tab), baby products (opens in new tab) and office supplies (opens in new tab) — all of which you may need in various quantities over the coming months. As do other big retailers like Walmart (opens in new tab) and Target (opens in new tab). There really are Black Friday deals for everything.

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.