The Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost, and Liberal Food Plans outline nutrient-dense foods and beverages, their amounts, and associated costs that can be purchased on three successively higher budgets, each supporting a healthy diet through nutritious meals and snacks at home. The Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost, and Liberal Food Plans are used by various federal and state agencies and the court system.
The Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost, and Liberal Food Plans were last reevaluated in 2007, maintaining the same inflation-adjusted costs as those of previous revisions. The market baskets are based on dietary standards, food composition, consumption data, and food prices current at the time. The calculation of these food plans involved the same optimization model that was used to calculate the Thrifty Food Plan, 2006 with different cost levels and different assumptions regarding food waste.