I am also shocked to read the labels and see the crap that mostly goes into many pet foods. It is really sad.
Feeding a higher quality food makes a big difference with the overall condition and health for the cat, so it is worth it in both the short and long run. Also they are "more filling" and have more protein and good stuff, so you maybe can get by with some cats with feeding less. I feed Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul, canned and dry, which is actually a very low price for a very high quality cat food that my cat loves to eat and does very well on. Felidae is another really great high quality food that isn't that expensive.
Some others that are good for your cat are, Natural Balance, Solid Gold, Innova, Merrick, Wellness, Fromm, Eagle, Nature's Variety Prairie, California Natural, and Pinnacle, just to name a few high quality foods that are out there for cats. You might have to look a little harder for them than the grocery store, but they are there. I am so glad to see you are researching foods and wanting what is best for your new baby!
If you think cat food is high you should see how much it takes to feed my dogs, lol, my dog food bill is easily over $100 each month, but it is very worth it in vet bills and energy for my guys, they are very happy and healthy.
Their coats shine, their teeth are nice, clean eyes, lots of energy, no food allergies (one used to have them until I found the right high quality food) and their breath is fresh.