I do make food for my Gordy. It definitely can get expensive as he is about 70lbs, but can definitely be done cost effectively too!!! And definitely worth not having to worry about where his food has come from, or been exposed to!
We have learned that freezer burned meat that most people won't eat is still good for dogs, and still has the same nutritional value. Some people do raw or home cooked diets, and have a ton of success taking freezer burnt meat and using it to make their dogs' food. we've never done that with Gordy, so I can't say anything from personal experience.
If you go to the forums where people talk mostly about nutrition... there are people who claim they either feed raw or home cook, and do it for multiple dogs (even including dogs Gordy's size!) and do it for less than $100/YEAR.
We shop in bulk, and snatch up whatever is on sale. We also use as many organic ingredients as we possibly can use when we feed Gordy. It is expensive though, so to cut costs, sometimes we have to use non-organic items. We have spent as much as $250/month (calked up to trying to many new things... not because they were on sale... but "oh! Gordy would like that and it has xyz nutrients, so it's really good for him!" when there were other, cheaper options available for providing the same nutrients.), and as few as $100/month so far. But still... we're pretty new at it... we've only been trying it out for about 3 months now. A lot of people tell us that they can feed a home cooked diet for less than the cost of kibble.
We started out using recipes from "The Healthy Dog Cookbook 50 Nutritious and Delicious Recipes Your Dog Will Love" (Jonna Anne with Mary Strauss) and "Dr Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats" (Richard Pitcairn). Dr Pitcairn's book goes over a lot of what goes on in the pet food industry (they should be ashamed of what they do), and also gives some recipes for simply adding a little bit of home cooked supplementation to kibble as well as full recipes, and explains how you want to go about compiling your dog food recipes.
It is extremely important to supplement home cooked diets.
When a dog is on a raw diet, they are getting most of (if not all... but I haven't looked into raw feeding enough to make that claim for sure) their nutrients through the food itself. With a cooked diet, you are omitting bones so a calcium supplement needs to be added. We also supplement when we know he will need more trace minerals than his diet is providing, or we add oils to recipes that don't contain enough fat content for him, and oils must be supplemented with vitamin E.
<--- this is a good site to start researching any kind of diet at.
Another option, although its pretty pricey (or I think so anyway) is The Honest Kitchen. From what I've researched so far they make a food that is (and the FDA considers!) human grade food, made in a human food manufacturing plant.
Buying meat in bulk... as in literally buying a cow whole, half a cow, a quarter of a cow... saves money too. It is a big up front cost, and requires that you have space to store it, but in the long run, it saves on the cost of food for us and for Gordy.
My general rule of thumb for selecting what supplements and ingredients I use in his food is if it isn't safe for me, I don't need to risk it with him either.
Another thing that I had done in the past, was called the dog food companies that claimed that their food was made with human grade products ONLY, and they will tell you up and down all day long how great their product is, and they use just the same products you will buy in the grocery store!! Then (yes, there is probably something wrong with me!) I would say "Well, thank you SO MUCH for all of your help!! I've recently lost my job, and with times being so tough, this actually is the best way for ME to get a balanced meal. Can you believe that dog food is actually more nutritious than eating Ramen??" You'd be surprised how fast they start caving then. "OH, well, our ingredients aren't actually PROVEN to be safe for humans...."