Cost of Food Data

What is the Thrifty Food Plan?

The Thrifty Food Plan is USDA's estimate of what it costs to purchase a minimally adequate diet. The Thrifty Food Plan is the least expensive market basket of food the government prices – and recommends for short-term use. It serves as the government’s basis for Food Stamp allotments.

Low-income households are particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in the cost of food. For those with budgets already stretched to their limits, higher food costs mean that people struggle to afford enough food for themselves or their families.

Latest Data

  • The cost of food people consumed at home decreased 0.2% from December 2014 to January 2015, but decreased by 3.3% over the last 12 months ending in January 2015.
  • Overall food costs did not change from December 2014 to January 2015, but increased by 3.2% over the last 12 months ending in January 2015.