USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food
The Thrifty, Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost, and Liberal Food Plans each represent a nutritious diet at a different cost. The Thrifty Food Plan is the basis for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) allotments. (All files are PDFs unless otherwise noted.)
Other Current Publications
- CNPP Food Prices Database, 2003-2004 (user's guide [pdf], database [xls], database [zip])
- CNPP Food Prices Database, 2001-2002 (development report [pdf], database [zip])
- The Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost, and Liberal Food Plans: 2007 Administrative Report
- Thrifty Food Plan, 2006 Report
For information on eating a nutritious diet at a minimal cost, please see the Healthy Eating on a Budget section on ChooseMyPlate.gov, which provides a variety of tips and strategies for saving money while eating nutritiously. You may also be interested in the What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl -- a collection of quick, delicious, cost-effective recipes for every type of cook. What's Cooking? is an interactive tool to help with healthy meal planning, cooking, and grocery shopping. The site features a searchable database of healthy recipes, options to build a cookbook, print recipe cards, and share recipes via social media. What's Cooking? contains recipes for use by nutrition educators working with the SNAP-eligible population.
The meal plans and recipes were developed and evaluated by The Pennsylvania State University under contract with the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Four-person families with limited incomes prepared and evaluated the menus and recipes for taste and quality. Note: This publication is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 1995 and the Food Guide Pyramid and is provided here for historical purposes.