USDA has reevaluated the Thrifty Food Plan using current data on food prices, consumption patterns, food composition data, and the latest dietary guidance. For information on the most current Thrifty Food Plan, see the Thrifty Food Plan, 2021.
The previous Thrifty Food Plan—the Thrifty Food Plan, 2006—provided a representative healthful and minimal cost meal plan that showed how a nutritious diet may be achieved with limited resources. As with all USDA Food Plans, the Thrifty Food Plan, 2006 assumed that all meals and snacks are prepared at home.
Federal law specifies that the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan in June serves as the basis for setting maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit allotments in the following federal fiscal year beginning each October 1.
As stipulated in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (PL 115–334, the 2018 Farm Bill), USDA must reevaluate the Thrifty Food Plan by 2022 and every 5 years thereafter. The Thrifty Food Plan, 2006 was replaced by the Thrifty Food Plan, 2021 as the basis for maximum SNAP allotments upon its publication in August 2021 and is the first in a series of planned updates.