The 8 Best Pets for Frugal Animal Lovers

4. Freshwater Fish

Freshwater fish are one of the most, if not the most, inexpensive and low-maintenance pets to own. They’re so cheap, in fact, that you can get goldfish — the reigning king of freshwater pet fish — for pennies. At PetSmart, for instance, goldfish cost about 14–29 cents. Including the bowl, water purification tablets, habitat features (like rocks), and food, you can walk away with the whole setup for less than $15.

5. Snake

You might notice somewhat of a trend on this list that most of the low-maintenance and low-cost pets are also low energy and make almost zero sound. Case in point, the snake, which for some will send shivers down their spines. But you can pick up a fancy corn snake for around $70, plus a complete habitat kit for $50. You’ll also need a tank in which the snake can live, and that’ll run you about $100 on the low end, but you can probably find one on Craigslist for cheaper. Mice, because the snake’s got to eat, run about $13 for four frozen medium specimens, and you’ll feed the snake one to two times a week.

6. Rat

I know, I know, it’s a rat, but hear me out. Male fancy rats (it seems like everything at the pet store is called “fancy,” by the way, and I don’t know why) are highly intelligent, and surprisingly cuddly. They’re also only $11. A starter kit setup, which includes the cage, toys, and food, is $100. The love you’ll have for your new scavenger friend, however, is priceless.

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