3. E-Mail Lists = COUPONS. Fromm, Nature's Variety, and others send coupons to their e-list subscribers every few months or so. It doesn't make the good quality food cheap, but every $5.00 off is $5.00 back in your pocket for something else. When you pair that with independent stores' Buy XX-Get-1-Free program, it adds up.
I'd like to second #3 - I get a dividend every quarter from my local pet store. I didn't even realize this until I got the first one! But I signed up as a "Friend of Chuck" (Chuck and Don's, for anyone in Minnesota, Colorado, or Hudson, WI). They do a "buy ten bags, get one free" program, so we get all of our cat food there. Plus and I get coupons in a monthly newsletter and a dividend quarterly. The last one was substantial - over $30. It's based on stuff I'm buying anyway, so might as well make the expenditures work for me.
And with that, I would also suggest a good, fee-free cash back credit card. Every single item or service I purchase for my dog is put on a credit card with cash back rewards, and I pay it to zero monthly so I'm not carrying a big balance. I would spend money on her anyway - I can make said money work for me to the tune of 1.5-5% cash back depending on the card and category.
If you want to do raw and you're short on time but don't want to pay for commercial raw, ask your butcher about doing dog food. Mine does my meat base for $2.75-2.99 a pound. It's a little more expensive because I pay for the convenience of having him procure and incorporate the right amount of organ meat, but it would be $1.99/lb if I did that work myself. I could probably search around and get it for less if I didn't like that butcher. But when I wanted something specific, I asked, and the price they quoted was really reasonable.