If you need to cut back on your dog's food budget (temporarily) or for a few years there are some better cheap foods to consider. Costco Kirkland brand Lamb and Rice dry food sells for $27.63 on their website for a 40 lbs bag! The food isn't the best dry food on the market, but I'd say it is comparable to many Science Diet formulas and Nutro's formula. You can increase protein in your dog's diet by feeding an egg a few times a week (especially on days of heavy exercise) to the dry food. You can either feed raw egg or hard boiled, and if you chose hard boiled you can even feed the shell - extra protein! I'd recommend supervising your dog if you feed shell on for the first time. Hard boiled eggs are great because you can boil a week's supply at the same time and just keep them in the fridge, if you travel or go to dog show's you can simply toss a hard boiled egg in your drink cooler and keep it fresh for your dog's feeding time.
Ok, so you want to find a decent canned food too? One that won't break the bank, and is made in the USA? I suggest hitting up your local Trader Joe's and trying their canned food in Lamb and Rice. It is twice the size of most dog food cans, measuring in at 22 oz, and at $0.99 you can't beat the price! While there are better canned foods on the market, this is a decent option because unlike typical grocery store brand foods Trader Joe's canned food contains no corn (often an allergen in dogs, and a common filler in pet foods). Like many canned dog foods Trader Joe's food is not as meaty as most would like, and contains a high percentage of water. However, without spending double or triple the amount for a canned half the size you'd never be able to find a canned dog food that is at least 90% meat.
Because both of these foods are produced in large facilities I recommend frequently checking petfood recalls. In 2007 Trader Joe's voluntarily recalled all of their canned pet food as a precaution - http://www.itchmo.com/trader-joes-pet-food-recalled-191. While no recalls have occurred in nearly two years regarding either of these foods it is always better safe than sorry.
Before you have to re home your dog because of the economy first look at cheap options that aren't that bad. Both of these foods are better than many, if not all, you'd find on grocery store shelves, and the size is larger and the cost less. You can also look into this service for human groceries, Angel Food Ministries - it's a good deal, and there are no income restrictions or requirements, but you have to be willing to eat what is on the menu for the month. If you need help for you or your pet there are numerous organizations and individuals willing and able to offer you support in these trying economic times.
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