By: Janet Harrah
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion provides estimates for the cost of a nutritious diet at home. For a family of four (mom, dad, daughter age 5 and son age 12) the USDA estimates it would cost between $611 and $1,217 per month to feed them a healthy, nutritious diet. The USDA food plans assume that all meals and snacks are prepared at home – no eating out. “The Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) serves as a national standard for a nutritious diet at a minimal cost and is used as the basis for maximum food stamp allotments.” The TFP is one of four official USDA food plans (the others being the Low-Cost Plan, the Moderate-Cost Plan, and the Liberal Plan).