Combining "healthy" and "affordable" when feeding our pets is the biggest challenge! Certainly, there are many affordable products on the store shelves, but are they healthy? Often, they are not even adequate, as claimed by their manufactuers. Additionally, it's difficult to find a food that has not appeared on a recall list.
By the time you find a petfood that has safe, optimum ingredients, the price has skyrocketed beyond the wallets of many pet owners.
It might be useful, however, to look at this in another way....that is, what's best in the Long Run?
I performed my own experiments a couple years ago and discovered that feeding what's called a "premium" pet food led to several unexpected results:
1. The cats ate less, because the nutrition satisfied their appetites rather than the quantity. This meant the product lasted longer.
2. The cats visited their litter boxes less often, and when they did, the droppings were smaller, better formed and easy to scoop. This means I use far less kitty litter...another savings.
3. The cats were more energetic, and over time, we were making fewer visits to the veterinarian. Many health problems are nutrition-related, similar to the human experience.
To keep things interesting, I also began making my own petfood from natural ingredients. There are many good recipes you can find online if you search for "natural homemade petfood." If one has the time and energy, making your own petfood is not as expensive as one might think, either.
In the final analysis, when you factor in the savings of using less food, less litter and fewer vet visits, I discovered that I actually spend about the same amount on the cats by feeding premium food as I did on cheap, commercial foods, and everyone is healthier.