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How do you use a food benefits EBT card?

No bashing please...this is my first experience with an EBT card - and I am not sure how it works. I understand it is for purchasing food items to prepare our daily meals, and paper products, otc drugs, etc are not allowed. Are dairy items allowed, as well as bottled spring water (generic brand), and things like that? Please share your shopping experiences, including where you shop, if you shop at large warehouse stores, and if you use self - checkout? I am feeling a little uncomfortable about using the card (that is strictly my problem, trying to overcome), so if anyone out there can share their experiences, I appreciate it.


Asked by Anonymous at 1:09 PM on Dec. 27, 2008 in Money & Work

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Answers (6)
  • What state are you in? I'm in Ca and have lots of ideas for you. PM me if it will help keep things more private. I shop at WinCo in Chico CA. they have the best deals. I also do Safeway for the BOGO stuffs. I have a low benefit for a family of 4 so I make a detailed meal plan for the month. If you have benefits now you should also get some in Jan so use this excess to stock up on staples,meats, and cans etc...I do not want you to be embarassed AT ALL!!! Just use it like you would any other debit card and when you check out tell the checker "food, please" they should have enought skill to let that be between the 2 of you. If not then complain!!!Major stores know how to handle this so let that problem leave your head. Good Luck.....Julie

    Answer by mom2priceboys at 1:44 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • All food is allowed. No pop or like you said paper products and cleaning products.


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:14 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • All food is allowed. I rarely would buy Dr. Pepper. You use it like a credit or debit card. Keep your receipts because it shows how much is left. It's up to you what food you buy. Be it nutritious or not, its up to you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:29 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • you can buy any food soda chips ice cream whatever. vinegar and baking soda as well. yes you can self check out and cosco doesn't take ebt but i think wicos does. Dairy items of course anything you can eat you can buy candy as well. you cant buy the chicken from the deli that's made though but you can buy the cheese and meat from the deli.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:35 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • ANYTHING edible.....even a pack of gum is fine.....the only thing you cant buy is the hot meals from the deli, and anything non-food. Dairy is fine, bottled spring water, generic or namebrand is fine.....

    I was embarrassed too at first, but most people standing nearby wont know if its an ebt card or a visa. So no worries! you have nothing to be embarrassed about would be surprised. most people have been on food stamps at one point in their lives....your not alone!

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:39 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • I shop at Foodland and Wal-Mart. Even Save a Lot sometimes. You can buy anything pretty much unless it is already prepared meals fro a resturaunt or hot foods in the deli section of the store.
    I but water, soda, dairy, dressings, spices etc..
    Dollar General takes Food stamps too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:08 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

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