We started feeding our chocolate lab a raw food diet based on the recommendation of our vet. It's definitely cheaper than very high-quality (no-grain) kibble, which is what we resort to on occasion if circumstances make it too challenging to prepare the raw food. Honestly, the worst part about it is the preparation - you can buy commercial raw food which is a lot easier, but it's too expensive for us.
We also feed the cat the same food only we run it through the meat grinder attachment we have for our KitchenAid, and he gets proportionately more whole little fish.
Generally for a week or so of food I do: 1 kilo of chicken backs & necks, a whole pink salmon, about 2 lbs of beef heart, a small package of beef liver, and 2 packages of frozen smelts. The dog gets about an 8 oz portion for each meal (2 per day) the smelts whole and the rest chunked up, with a raw egg and some carrot chunks (equivalent to a medium carrot - so 2 if they're small or 1/2 if they're huge). The cat gets the ground mixture, usually mixed with some warm water because he barfs if he eats cold food too quickly (he's a bit of a gulper). He also gets some Orijen kibble if he starts yowling when it's not actually breakfast or dinner time. (A bag of kibble lasts about a month).
Both our pets are extremely healthy. The dog is nearly 10 now and has been on a raw food diet for 6 years; she is one of the few labs her age who is at a healthy weight and not exhibiting any signs of age beyond a bit of grey in her muzzle - no lumps, no stiffness. She is still occasionally mistaken for a puppy, because she's on the small side for labs. She had a bit of a rough spot last year when she broke a tooth (we think on a rock embedded in a rotted stick at the beach) which we didn't notice until she just stopped eating. She recovered quickly though - we ground her food for a while too until her gum healed where the tooth was extracted.
We never would have gone this route (it IS a bit of work, preparing the food - about an hour a week) if our vet hadn't suggested it, but we're glad we did. And I'm glad we have a vet who is more appreciative of science than kickbacks from pet food companies :-)