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.
Recipes and Tips for Healthy, Thrifty Meals
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.