Cost of Food

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 increased 0.1% from September 2014 to October 2014, and increased by 3.3% over the last 12 months ending in October 2014.
  • Overall food costs increased by 0.1% from September 2014 to October 2014 and have increased by 3.1% over the last 12 months ending in October 2014.