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Questions about Food Stamps - For those who are or have used them.

I have a few questions about foodstamps. Out of pure desperation my husband and I have filed for food stamps. We were accepted and are awaiting our EBT card. I don't know if this matters, but we were in Central Michigan. I don't know if each state has a different set of rules or not. Anyhow, I am wondering ...

Are there any obligations to buy certain brands? If so, what products?

Are there any exclusions? I know that paper products are excluded, but is there anything else? (I know alcohol and Tabaco products are excluded as well)

Is there anything else I should know before going on my first shopping trip?

My Caseworker sent me to a link that vaguely explained, but I still would like to know more before I go out and buy. Thanks, Ladies!!


Asked by Anonymous at 10:52 PM on Dec. 15, 2010 in Shopping

This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • If the Deli takes food stamps you can buy anything edible as long as it is not hot. Candy, soda, chips, are also included in that as well. Some stores even allow cough drops from what I was told but I have never tried. You can go into some convenient stores that sell fountain soda or iced coffee and use it there as well. Some convenient stores do consider fountain sodas fast food so it won't go through. I know I will probably get frowned upon from some for including all the junk food that I did, but I just wanted to give you some ideas of how food stamps are easy to spend. All though I myself had to rely on FS I would limit my tendencies on the junk because there are needed for groceries in the home. If I was out with the kids and the errand took longer than expected I would stop and get premade sandwiches to feed my kids. I would break down to buy a bag of chips to hold them over until I could get them home to feed them.

    Answer by hodgkinrus6 at 11:10 PM on Dec. 15, 2010

  • I too receive food stamps (Link Card). The one luxury you have is the ability to purchase any food item you want. However, hot-prepared food is not covered (like Jewel, Dominicks, etc. have fully cooked chicken, hot wings, meatloaf...) Though you can buy any brand, I still use coupons and check out sales to maximize my full $ amount. During this difficult economic time, I am thankful that I was able to receive this benefit. The last thing I need to worry about it feeding my family. Good luck and have a happy and healthy holiday.

    Answer by mickeybmama at 11:09 PM on Dec. 15, 2010

  • I haven't used them before, but I know how they work.

    You can buy any brand of anything edible. And actually, where I live we have Papa Murphy's Pizza and I realized the other day that they have a sticker on their door that says, "we accept ebt", so I guess that means food stamps.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 10:54 PM on Dec. 15, 2010

  • You can't buy anything that aren't food items, and I know my grandma couldn't buy anything that was pre-made at the deli. Like roasted chickens, sandwiches, etc.

    I don't think there's any obligations with brands and EBT, but with WIC there is.

    Answer by Razelda at 10:55 PM on Dec. 15, 2010

  • You can buy any brands but cold food, things to cook not hot premade stuff, you can use coupons. People use them for everything in my store candy, soda, cold subs just not pizza or hot subs

    Answer by raisingmen at 10:57 PM on Dec. 15, 2010

  • I know in NC you can buy cold deli foods but not the hot ones. You can get a store bought decorated cake. You can get redbull but none of the other energy drinks. Practically any other food from the grocery store you can get even candy, gum, and soda.

    Answer by sweetpea1217 at 10:58 PM on Dec. 15, 2010

  • You can buy anything you can eat or drink that is NOT hot prepared food or alcohol. You can buy cold deli stuff, but not hot/prepared deli stuff like rotisserie/fried chicken. some things do vary by state, like in Washington state you can't buy candy or soda with foodstamps, but you can here in TN. As far as brands, no, there are no restrictions. It's just smarter shopping to buy off-brand foods as long as you're ok with them. Some offbrand stuff genuinely sucks, but a lot of it is just as good.

    Answer by FluffyMamaBunny at 10:58 PM on Dec. 15, 2010


    Answer by Cocoa25 at 10:59 PM on Dec. 15, 2010

  • you don't have to buy a certain brand of food.. any brand works. you can not buy anything already made from the deli (warm ready made food) you can buy drinks (sodas) no alcohol.

    Answer by proudmommy690 at 11:10 PM on Dec. 15, 2010

  • You can even get schwan's delivery with foodstamps, if you wanted to overspend. I'm just giving an example of how versatile they are. You can get anything food or drink (non-alcoholic) as long as it is not pre-cooked or cooked in the store. Where I live, fountain soda is not allowed. I tend to buy off brand and sales to make it stretch, as I receive $300 a month for 4 of us.

    Answer by sweet29mom at 11:37 PM on Dec. 15, 2010