The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed recipes and food plans designed to feed a family of four at home for about $136 to $267 per week, depending on your choice of a thrifty, low-cost, moderate-cost, or liberal food plan. To begin planning healthful, cost-conscious meals, visit the USDA Web site www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/MiscPubs/FoodPlansRecipeBook.pdf.
Need even more of a leg up? Log on to www.fns.usda.gov/FSP to see if you might be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps). Over 31 million Americans are now using this program, and more may be eligible. If you think you may be, you need to complete a state application form. Look for your state’s hotline number on the above-mentioned Web page, or look in your local phone book in the government offices pages.