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Thrifty Food Plan

Alexandria Brown & Alessandra Neal


Menu Plan
MEALS
Breakfast

Day 1
Mom: 2 eggs, 1/8 can
spinach, 1/8 cup cheese, 1
slice of toast, 2 cup milk
Son: 1 egg, 1/8 can spinach,
1/8 cup cheese, 1 slice of
toast, 1 cup milk

Cost per
total
servings
$1.72

Day 2
Mom: 1 packet of
oatmeal, 1 banana, 2
cups of milk

Son: 1 slice of bread,


banana, 2 tablespoon peanut
butter, apple
Dinner

Mom: can black beans, 1


cup rice, can turnip
greens, can of corn, 1/6 lb
of chicken breast
Son: can black beans,
cup of rice, can turnip

$2.536
Mom, son: Pasta
salad--8 ounces of
pasta, 1 6oz yogurt,
can of corn, 1 can of
black beans, 1 slice of
toast

Mom: 2 slices of bread,


banana, 4 tablespoons peanut
butter, apple

Mom: 1 6oz yogurt, 1


apple, 2 cups of milk

Mom: Tuna Melt (2 slices $2.452


of bread, 6oz of tuna),
cup lettuce, 1/8 cup of
cheese, two stalks of
celery.
Son: Tuna Melt (1 slice
bread, 4 oz tuna), cup
lettuce, 1/8 cup cheese. 1
tablespoons of peanut
butter, 1 stalk of celery.

Each serving eaten atop


one cup of lettuce
$2.918

Day 3

$3.712
Mom, son: 9 egg
Quiche, can of
spinach, 1 cup of
cheese, 1/3 lb of
chicken breast

Cost per
total
servings
$2.942

Son: 1 6oz yogurt, 1


apple, 1 cup of milk

Son: 1 packet of
oatmeal, 1 banana, 1
cup of milk
$1.1518

Lunch

Cost per
total
servings
$1.5

$1.803
Mom, son: 8oz
pasta, cup of cheese, 1
can of green beans

greens, can of corn, 1/6 lb


chicken breast
$1.062
Snacks
(optional)

Total Cost
per day

Mom:
1) 1 banana, 1 cup of milk
2) Pack of oatmeal
Son: 1) banana, 1 cup of
milk
2) 1 pack of oatmeal

$6.85

Mom:
1) 2 stalks of celery, 2
tablespoons of peanut
butter
2) 1 banana
Son:
1) 1 stalk of celery, 1
tablespoon of peanut
butter
2) banana
$8.569

Grocery Shopping List


Organizational Method used: Organized by aisles of average supermarkets

$0.8274

$7.22

Food Category
Produce Aisle

Grain Aisle

Canned Aisle

Refrigerated Aisle

Breakfast Aisle

Item
Head of lettuce
Bananas
Apple
Celery
Whole wheat bread
Peanut butter
Whole wheat penne
pasta
Brown rice
Corn
Green Beans
Black Beans
Tuna
Spinach
Turnip greens
Milk
Cheese
Eggs
Boneless split chicken
breast
Yogurt
Oatmeal

Total Amount Needed


1 head
6 banana
3 medium
1 long pack
1 loaf
1 small jar
1 16 oz box

Price
0.99
1.18
1.47 per lb
0.99
1.88
1.18
1.24

1 cup
1
1 can
2 can
10 oz can
1 can
1 can
1 gallon
1 8 oz. pack shredded
Dozen
1 lb

0.78
0.59
0.59
1.44
1.50
0.59
0.59
3.59
2.48
1.88
1.59 (per lb)

3 6 oz.
10 pack box

1.20
1.62
Total Cost of Groceries from above list:__27.37_
Three Day Thrifty Food Plan Budget:__27.47_
Savings on Groceries:__.10__

Food Groups:
Numbers based off generated amounts using food tracker on supertracker.usda.gov.

Food Groups

Day 1
R
7 oz

Children

Day 2

7 oz

R
7 oz

A
6 oz

R
7 oz

A
7 oz

5 oz

5 oz

5 oz

4 oz

5 oz

4 oz

Vegetables
Adult

3 cups

3.5 cups

3 cups

2.75 cups

3 cups

2 cups

Children

1.5 cups

2 cups

1.5 cups

2 cups

1.5 cups

1 cup

Fruits
Adult

2 cups

2 cups

2 cups

1 cups

2 cups

2 cups

Children

1.5 cup

1 cups

1.5 cup

1 cup

1.5 cup

1 cups

Protein
Adult

6 oz

6 oz

6 oz

8 oz

6 oz

6 oz

Children

4 oz

6 oz

4 oz

5 oz

4 oz

5 oz

Dairy
Adult

3 cups

3 cup

3 cups

3 cups

3 cups

3 cup

Children

2.5 cups

2.25 cups

2.5 cups

2 cup

2.5 cups

2.5 cups

Oils
Adult

8 tsp

1 tsp

8 tsp

2 tsp

8 tsp

4 tsp

Children

4 tsp

3 tsp

4 tsp

1 tsp

4 tsp

3 tsp

Grains
Adult

Day 3

Price per serving worksheet

Food Item

Total Price

# of Servings

Serving Size

Price per
serving

Dozen eggs
Can Spinach
Can Corn
2 Can black
beans
Apples

1.89
0.59
0.59
1.44

12
3
2
6

cup dry
cup
cup
cup

$ 0.158
0.2
0.3
0.41

1.47 (per pound


or 2 apples)
1.88
0.99
0.99

1 apple

0.74

22
5
7

1 slice
1 cup
1 stalk

0.09
0.2
0.14

Bread
Lettuce
Celery
Bananas

1.18

1 banana

0.2

Whole wheat pasta 1.18

2/3 cup

0.14

Brown rice

0.78

2.5

0.5 cup

0.31

Peanut Butter

1.18

32

1 tbsp

0.04

Green beans

0.59

cup

0.3

Spaghetti sauce

cup

0.2

Tuna

1.5

cup

0.38

Milk

3.59

16

1 cup

0.22

Cheese

2.48

cup

0.31

Boneless skinless
chicken

1.99

3 oz

0.4

Oatmeal

1.62

10

1 packet

0.16

Turnip greens

0.59

cup

0.2

Reflection Questions
1. Describe the family scenario your group drew, including the number of people in the family and ages.
We have a two person family: A mother who is 19 years old with a son who is 4 years old.
2. What was your total allotted amount of money for three days according to the Thrifty Food Plan? Were you able to stay
within the budget?
We were given $27.47 for all three days. We managed to stay within the budget having ten cents remaining.
3. If you were within your budget, what foods helped you save money? If not, what foods caused you to overspend?
Canned items and items in larger quantities, like bread and oatmeal, were the most helpful. Also, buying some
of our vegetable and fruits from locations that sold from local farmers helped save as well. Otherwise, the best
way to stay in budget was to cross analyze all the markets for the week and find the lowest price. This option
takes a lot of time and energy, but it worked.
4. What specific items were not included on the grocery list but are often necessary on a weekly basis? How can money
be saved on these items?
Salt, pepper, and oil are often needed for a week. People who drink coffee would also need to find ways to
budget that in. Snacks are a huge party of the American daily life, but they were basically unaffordable for this
family. Variety was also hard to work with especially with fruits and vegetables because it can be expensive. We
found that although fresh ingredients are highly recommended using canned goods instead was a great deal
cheaper. Couponing is also very helpful when it comes to possibly saving more money on needed items.
Although it can be time consuming, getting coupon booklets and informational papers on the deals at different
grocers is very helpful too.
5. What were some of the challenges you had with the following. If you did not have any challenges in the area, consider
what a real person under this scenario might experience as a challenge and write about that.

a) Menu planning according to the MyPlate Guidelines : Staying within MyPlate guidelines is always a
challenge. It is easy in theory, but in reality it takes a lot of planning to meet all your daily goals. It
always seems to be more generic compared to what one is actually consuming so it can make it difficult
when trying to record and classify that was consumed.
b) Purchasing of Food: Food is a costly thing, but it also a necessary part of life. Deals are out there for people
on a low income, but it may require visiting 3+ markets a week to get the best price on an assortment of
items. If one is in need of cheaper alternatives it really just takes patience and knowledge about different
places to buy foods. This could be a potential problem for individuals who are unaware of the options or
places nearby that provide more affordable foods. It was difficult to remain with the healthiest option but
stay within budget so we had to choose options that were close enough.
c) Preparation of Food: For us, meal preparation is not difficult. However, for someone living on this budget,
their daily life could be very different. It might be a stretch for them to prepare all the dinner dishes after a
long day of work/ commute. We tried to stick with easy quick meals that did not require a lot of extra prep
time. When money is an issue it can place a large amount of stress on the parents or mother so focusing on
foods that would reduce some stress at home was another goal.
d) Convenience of shopping and preparing food: As mentioned, the convenience of shopping for these foods is
not too great. Some of the prices we got were across town from each other. The preparation though, once
everything has been purchased the meals shouldn't be difficult or overly time consuming.
e) Storage or use of all food: Most foods canned, boxed, or even frozen can be stored for a very long time.
Some items such as the fresh fruits and veggies will last about two weeks if refrigerated, and that is a decent
amount of time. The chicken needs to be frozen if not used immediately, and in that case it can be thawed
out for use whenever. Our plan mainly had foods that would have a longer shelf life compared to the items
that are considered fresh like the bananas and chicken for example.

6. Describe what it was like to eat a day from your meal plan. What challenges did you face? Did the quantity of food satisfy
you?
How did you feel about following the Thrifty Food Plan budget for a day? What do you think it would be like to
permanently live under this kind of budget?
Following all of the meals from one of these days is very different from what we are used to. It was hard to
realize that foods werent readily available at our fingertips and very easily accessed. It was a very restrictive
feeling that one wasnt able to choose from a large amount of options but actually had to choose from very few.
Of the items they are geared to ones health, not being the healthiest of that specific option but will provide
nutrition for the body. It provided a slightly depressing feeling during some meals because it didnt seem to fill
the stomach up all the way and ended up being hungry soon after. The quantity of the food was satisfactory but
along couldve been larger to remove the hunger completely. We concluded that it would be extremely difficult
to live and eat following this kind of budget. A great deal of effort and time was put into finding sufficient
nutrients for the price. It is possible to live off of this budget, it is unbelievable to say the least but many
individuals do have to face this reality. It would be very stressful at times and may not always be the most
nutritious, but it can provide basic foods for consumption.
7. What did you learn about the MyPlate guidelines, Thrifty Food Plan, and eating healthy? How would you use this
experience in counseling persons with limited incomes?
After being in the nutrition department for some time now, we were not surprised by the MyPlate guidelines. These are
doable and expected guidelines to receive adequate nutrition on a daily basis. None the less, it always takes a bit of
planning and creativity to make it all work together. Shopping on this budget however was quite the shock. It is
difficult to get all the fresh foods we want for our clients under such strict guidelines. Using what we have learned on
this project will be hugely important in the impact of our counseling in the future. We need to be able to talk to low
income families and explain the best ways they can shop. By suggesting: buying canned vegetables and rinsing them,
buying whole grains in bulk, freezing dairy items so they do not spoil, buying fruit from local farmer, food planning
ingredients that can be multi use, and the list goes on and on. These are things that we have now become aware of and
can pass on.