Top tips to save money as a Parrot Owner


One of the most commonly owned pet birds are parrots. With ever-rising prices for pet owners, this guide gives top tips on how to save money as a parrot owner.

Parrots are a popular pet bird and provide endless entertainment for their owners. Many parrots are really friendly and offer great companionship.

In this article, we’ll be discussing ways both new and existing parrot owners can save money on a variety of areas, such as set-up costs, toys and food.

We must however advise that one area you shouldn’t seek to save money on, or cut corners on, is UV lighting for your bird. UV lighting is incredibly important for your parrot’s health.

To learn more about UV lighting when setting up your parrot’s cage, read our Parrot Set Up article here.

If you want to gain a more in depth understanding of UV lighting and birds, we’ve written a 5 piece series on the the subject. Read the first in the series here.

As mentioned, there are a number of great money saving tips which won’t compromise your pets health. Keep reading to learn more.

Own a cat or dog? Get pet insurance that covers up to £15,000 in vet fees every year, including dental for illness and accidents with British Pet Insurance.

Make your own toys.

There are a number of items easily available in your home which you can upcycle to create toys for your parrot.

Parrot expert, Dorothy Schwarz has some great ideas in her article here.

Some additional ideas we wanted to call out include upcycling glass dessert pots. If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably got a couple of these saved in your cupboard in the hopes they come in useful one day.

Ensure that they’re weighted and won’t tip over if your bird perches on them. Simply take one of these, add some of your parrot’s favourite treat into it, top with something your parrot can safely forage in such as paper or some of their bedding and give this to your parrot. They’ll have a fun foraging opportunity which should keep them entertained whilst providing them with a tasty treat.

Another great idea is creating your own parrot toy to suit your parrot’s preferences by buying chewable parrot blocks and hanging these at a height to suit your parrot. This is a great alternative to buying pre-made toys as you can fully customise to your parrots needs and it often still works out a little cheaper than pre-made toys.

Upcycle plants and branches.

Taking a trip to your garden could really pay off for your parrot.

There are a variety of items you can use for both cage furnishing and enrichment which can be found in your garden.

Some great examples include using tree branches as perches for your parrot. If you’re doing this, you need to ensure that you’re using branches from a parrot safe tree such as pine trees.

If you’re considering using natural branches, check out this article which covers parrot-safe food and plants.

Another great use of plants is wrapping some of your parrot’s food in a parrot-safe leaf. For smaller leaves, you may have to take a few to make a sufficiently sized parcel. This provides a great enrichment opportunity for your parrot as they have to work to get their treat.

You need to ensure you thoroughly wash any plants or branches before giving them to your parrot.

Branches are a free and natural resource you can provide your parrot.

Don’t spend too much money on toys

We’ve already covered making your own toys which will provide a lot of entertainment for your parrot but if you want to go one step further, you might not even need to purchase toys at all!

Providing you can spend a reasonable amount of time playing games with your bird each day, combining this with some homemade toys is a great way to save money.

Some great games favourited by parrot owners include peek-a-boo, games in which you hide under a blanket and allow your bird to find you and learning tricks such as teaching your parrot recall.

All of the above are great ways to keep your parrot entertained without spending a penny. The only thing you will need to invest is your time so if you’re looking at saving money by not purchasing toys, ensure you can spend a reasonable amount of time with your bird every day and provide them with DIY toys so they don’t get bored when you can’t give them company.


Insuring your parrots is a great way to ensure you can cover vets bills in your bird’s time of need.

Parrots are prone to a number of conditions such as aspergillosis and fatty liver disease. If you spot signs of illness in your parrot, you should always take them to a vet as soon as possible.

Vets fees are one of those unavoidable outgoings as a pet owner however having parrot insurance can help you cover those unexpected bills.

Insurance is subject to Terms and Conditions which you should always read thoroughly before taking a policy out.

DIY seed mix

If you’ve got the storage space, it can work out cheaper to buy seeds in bulk to make your own seed mix. Buying in bulk usually works out cheaper but it’s worth shopping around to ensure you get the best deal.

You can buy a lot of elements that make up parrot seed mix such as a variety of types of sunflower seeds, oats, peanuts and mung beans in bulk and use these to make your own mix.

To reduce the risk of aspergillosis, we’d advise against buying too many seeds at a time, don’t go excessive and get a year’s worth of seed at one time. In addition, you need to ensure you’re safely and securely storing seeds and nuts if you’re buying a larger quantity to reduce the risk of mould developing. Furthermore, you should also seek to source human-grade nuts as this further helps reduce the risk.

You should also ensure that any seeds or nuts you buy don’t have added salt, sugar, or other flavourings and additives added.

Making your own seed mix in bulk is a great way to save money but also is great if you have a picky parrot. If there’s certain seeds or elements your parrot doesn’t like, you can omit these from your mix therefore saving further money as you’re not buying food your bird won’t eat.

If you do have a particularly picky parrot who leaves a variety of seeds, it’s worth consulting with your vet to ensure they’re still getting a varied diet including all the nutrients they require.

If you are concerned about the risk of aspergillosis, consult with your vet for further information

Buying seeds in bulk and making your own seed mix can be a great way to save money.

Consider adopting a bird

There are a number of amazing bird charities out there such as Birdline and All Star Parrots.

Adopting a parrot from one of these charities is a great way to save money as they often offer parrots slightly cheaper than what you’d purchase a chick for.

Many charities offer a variety of breeds and ages of parrots. As well as being a great way to save money on upfront costs, this is also a wonderful way to give a bird a second chance at a happy home.

Own a cat or dog? Get pet insurance that covers up to £12,000 for dogs and £9,000 for cats in vet fees every year, including dental for illness and accidents with British Pet Insurance.

Rachael Smedley
28 Jul 2022

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