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Can I Use Coupons with Food Stamps?

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When I teach coupon classes, I hear this question a lot:

Can I use coupons and food stamps?

YES YES YES, you can! While you absolutely can use coupons to make your food stamps go further, you may want to bring some spare change with you. Here’s why: Since a 3rd party (the manufacturer) will be reimbursing the value of the coupons you use, the store must charge sales tax on the value of the coupons.  Remember, coupons are a form of payment NOT A DISCOUNT- so essentially the manufacturer is paying that portion of your bill and you are responsible for the tax.  When you use a store coupon (when the store is not reimbursed by a manufacturer) that is a DISCOUNT, and you do not need to pay any tax. Make sense?

Here are a few examples:

Total of Food: $10.00
Use $7.00 in manufacturer coupons
Pay $0.42 out of your pocket (tax on the coupons)

Put $3.00 on your EBT Card

Total of Food: $10.00
Use $2.00 in store coupons

Put $8.00 on your EBT Card
(No tax is paid when you use STORE coupons)

Here’s where things get tricky.  (Please Note that I have never used Food Stamps, so this is soley based on the research I’ve done. If you know something different, please leave a comment and let us know. :) ) When you are buying food (covered by food stamps) and Nonfood items like cleaning supplies (not covered by food stamps) and using coupons and food stamps and cash or a debit card to pay-  things may get confusing and you may find it beneficial to seperate your transactions. Here is an example:

$50 in Food
$20 in Cleaning Supplies

-$20 in Food Coupons
-$15 in Cleaning Supplies Coupons
$15 would go on your EBT card
AND THEN you would still owe $20 plus tax  in cash for the cleaning supplies.

The store’s registers are generally not smart enough to tell the food and nonfood coupons apart, and so they all get applied to the “food”- which would seem okay, but then you are paying full price for the non food items out of your own pocket

But, if you split up your transaction into Food and Nonfood, here’s what it would look like:

$50 in Food
- $20 in Food Coupons
Put $30 on EBT Card

$20 in Cleaning Supplies
-$15 in Cleaning Supplies Coupons
Pay $5.00 out of your pocket

Leave a Reply

88 thoughts on “Can I Use Coupons with Food Stamps?”

  1. Sha says:

    I know this is a tad bit to the left but do any one on here know of any beginners Couponing Classes in the Nashville (or surrounding) area? I’ve been looking but haven’t had any luck

  2. Lisa says:

    I have found that I have better luck if I go ahead and make my EBT purchases and then take my coupons to Customer Service to have the amount of the coupons put back on my card.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In California, when you use a manufacturers coupon, you can apply that savings to non food items.  For example, I purchased 5 boxes of spaghetti with a manufacturers coupon that saved me .65 cents a box(5x.65=$3.65) which I then used to buy paper towels at $2.99 plus tax.  You can also do the same with WIC, which helps out a little bit too.

  4. Anonymous says:

    sorry  food items is not exempt in Georgia for out of pocket (cash, debit card or check) but exempt for food stamps and grocery tax rate is 3% max for foods

  5. Anonymous says:

    EDiT:  — some states have taxable in grocery store such as Virgina and Tennessee where i went to  applies to out of your pocket (cash or bank debit card or personal check).

  6. Anonymous says:

    in Florida and Georgia does not tax for all foods items  non-foods & hot foods items have taxable,   most states have foods with tax-exemption with SNAP card ( known as food stamp card) some states have food taxable in grocery store  such as Virgina and Tennessee where i went to

  7. Fortuna Rose Cameron says:

    This still confuses me because when you buy food those items are tax free usually so why would tax be applied just because you’re using a coupon? 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Also if you call the Snap line and talk to someone about it they will tell you that since items purchased with food stamps are tax free it is against the law to be charged tax on a coupon when using food stamps but it still happens. At least that’s what they told me. Some stores have waived the fee for me but some don’t care and think they’re within their right to do so. Maybe it’s a lost cause.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    This still confuses me because when you buy food those items are tax free usually so why would tax be applied just because you’re using a coupon? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Because coupons are another form of payment. It’s just like using cash to pay for a portion of your groceries, so it’s taxed.

  10. Denice Lopez says:

    Thank you for clarifying this! :)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for clarifying this! :)

  12. JazminD says:

    Here in AZ you pay sales tax on the coupon value but not your food. Sometimes I owe random 1 cent, or 25 cents when i only buy food items and use coupons. But your explaination is a bit off when buying both food and non food. I maximize my food stamps by using coupons on both food and non food and a mixture of competitor coupons for a specific amount off like Fresh and Easy 5off25 coupons and that 5 bucks goes straight to non food items after i pay with my EBT. This works also with doubleing of coupons at Frys or Krogers and for formula coupons that i get as checks in the mail from enfamil or similac…its a coupon off formula but at the registar is ran as a check and thus comes off my non food items after i pay with ebt. Essentially i stack other store coupons and these check coupons and make sure i leave a dollar or so to cover any coupon tax and i usually walk away with detergent, soap, deoderant…etc free out of my pocket and groceries on ebt! the store gets paid either way…just i dont have to use my money because of the coupons.

  13. Anonymous says:

    i did not know this thank you so much for the info!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    i did not know this thank you so much for the info!!!

  15. Tania says:

    I am so glad I found this page! I just got approved for food stamps today, and, although my case worker is wonderful, I later thought of questions I neglected to ask her. I didn’t know much about food stamps at all, and now I feel so much more confident about how to use them appropriately. I have always been an avid coupon user, and I have a bunch of unused, valid ones. I’m so glad they won’t go to waste!

  16. SLK says:

    Foodstamps and coupons are different at each store. I went to Walmart and used coupons with Foodstamps and somehow the machine kicked out change. Huh? King Soopers, all food purchase, it charged me tax. So I think its YMMV dependent on your local stores computer system.

  17. Desiree says:

    I was a cashier for 6 years, some states don’t have a state tax. When you use fs for your purchases and coupons you still have to pay tax on the coupon. If an item is free with the coupon you still owe the tax. Example turkey bacon on sale $1 and you have a $1 off coupon you would still have to pay the $.04. I think people who eat healthier on foodstamps are good. The ones that used to make me mad were the ones who bought a whole bunch of junkfood with their fs, and then in their other transaction were buying alcohol and cigarettes.

  18. Coupon Secrets says:

    I am a fs user and recently did the money maker deal at target buying 5 of the icecream products. I did get the $5.00 gift card. Not sure what you mean when it will charge you $5.00. I’ll look at my receipt to make sure.

    Is this okay?
    Does this happen to anyone else?

  19. Krysta says:

    I’m confused, why would you have to pay tax on food? If I pay w/ a debit card, I don’t pay tax, why should they charge tax to people using food stamps?

    • Laurie says:

      The tax laws depend on where you live. I live in California, and some food items are taxable. Any “prepared” foods like the hot deli items and any carbonated beverages are taxable here. Of course alcohol is taxable too. So those items are not food stamp items. It just depends on the local laws.

  20. Laurie says:

    I currently receive FS. Without getting into our whole story, I don’t know how my family would survive without it. As for couponing, I have always been an avid coupon user, and things only got worse when I started receiving benefits. Now I have the ability to stock up when something is on sale. Before the benefits, I didn’t even have a pantry. When I told my case worker that I was receiving more benefits than I needed because of all the coupons I use, she told me there was nothing she could do to reduce my benefits unless I wanted to stop receiving them altogether! What?! So now I buy my extremely-hard-working-husband the occasional steak. I feel so guilty standing there in line and I think all eyes are on me because of the stereotypes. But another huge change since we started receiving FS, we eat healthier! We could never afford “real meat”, and fresh produce was few and far between for us. Ever notice how processed foods and junk foods are cheaper?

    • Laurie says:

      Yes, I HAVE noticed that. I used to be a cashier for 10 years and never thought anythig bad about what food stamp people bought unless is was a basket full of Ding Dongs and chips (which you would see). Kudos to you for making the most of what you get! If that allows you steak occasionally than great. Like you said, it’s all real food. Cashiers don’t usually think too much about what you are buying-take it from me. :)

  21. rachel says:

    walmart, you dont have to divide the non food from the food items. At albertsons, you do have to divide the non food from the food if you are using their catalinas. otherise you dont need to. the catalinas will always be applied to groceries first.
    and a huge note for target, if you pay with food stamps for a food item that has a gift card offer, it will not give you the free gift card. it will charge you $5.00

  22. I think that you are doing a really good job by informing people that they can use coupons with their EBT card. There is one thing wrong with this article though. Where you put this:

    $50 in Food
    $20 in Cleaning Supplies
    -$20 in Food Coupons
    -$15 in Cleaning Supplies Coupons
    $15 would go on your EBT card
    AND THEN you would still owe $20 plus tax in cash for the cleaning supplies.

    That is wrong. If you have $15 in Cleaning Supply coupons, it will subtract the coupons from the cleaning supplies and not the food. So therefor, you would only have to pay $5 plus tax in cash for your cleaning supplies. You would then put $30 on your EBT card.

    I hope that this helps.

    Take care,
    Shynea

    • Heather says:

      Shynea, at certain stores the registers apply all the coupons to the food. So in some cases the info is correct. Other stores have smarter registers… So definitely people just need to learn their store’s system and go from there. Thanks for the comment!

    • Melissa says:

      Your math is incorrect. I use an EBT card, and most stores, Walmart included, take all coupons off of food items total, even if it wasn’t a food item coupon, which makes your EBT account charged less, and your OOP more. Separate Transactions if you don’t know your local stores policy.

  23. Michelle says:

    I also use food stamps. I am not embarrassed to use them. I am grateful that I have them to use because my family needs them. Not everyone who receives them is non-working and taking advantage of the system. Everyones situation is different. I think that they should educate those who are on food stamps that they can save alot of money and make their benefits go further. The only problem I have had using them with coupons has been when I have a catalina to use that is so many $$ off OYNO. If you are intending to use that catalina to pay for your non-food items, the catalina takes that amount off your food purchase only for some reason. So if you have a catalina to use, separate your items. Those catalinas have saved my bacon!! I tend to use those to buy non-food items only. You can use the cat plus use additional coupons to get more use out of it. It has allowed me to get free toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning items that I dont have the cash to buy. Couponing has really helped my family. We dont receive alot a food stamps compared to what some may receive. Couponing has allowed me to to not have to use much of my own money to buy groceries. It is like putting money in my pocket that I can use towards bills. Thank you so much for posting this!! I really hope that it helps someone that may have not known that they are able to coupon with their cards!!

  24. jeanette says:

    As far I know, it is illegal to charge someone more based on payment method. If the food you are purchasing is nontaxable, then it is illegal to charge tax on those items because of your payment method- coupons. The ONLY store I’ve ever had add sales tax was Albies. Usually the cashier just makes a note as to why they weren’t making me pay tax and lets me go. I had one cashier just a few weeks ago try to tell me that the coupons add tax (like you said) but her manager corrected her.

  25. Liz Odle says:

    Thank you so much for explaining this to me. It now makes perfect sense where as before I didn’t understand why the government didn’t want me to save them money. Which is how I saw it. But this does make sense, it’s still worth using the coupons even if I have to pay a few cents in the end.

  26. Laurie says:

    This TOTALLY explains the one NIGHTMARE transaction I had as a cashier years ago. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was, and the customer couldn’t either. I had to close my register and try and sort it out. It took forever, the customer was mad, and I was off duty and had to leave in the middle of the problem. It was awful. The poor person had used a recycle voucher (recycled cans at those places on site), so that must have been the problem. Stupid computers!

  27. Shellie says:

    I don’t know why I can’t read all the comments, but I just wanted to say that I am also on food stamps. The cashiers ask me to seperate my transactions into what the food stamps will pay for, and what they will not. They only started asking me to do this once I started using coupons. The registers aren’t smart enough (as you said) to make sure the coupons always come off of the right products, so it makes planning your trip confusing, and you end up paying more out of pocket when you combine transactions. So make it easy on yourself, and pay less by separating your transactions. :)

  28. Corrina says:

    I live in CA and use EBT. I often shop at Safeway and have found that their computer system has an issue when using coupons and EBT. If I buy a “non-food” item, part of the coupons end up applied to that and I end of getting the item for free, or for a few pennies.
    Another issue to watch out for is if you only buy food items, use coupons and use EBT. For some reason, the Safeway computer system overcharges EBT $1 and says it owes you $1 change. The cashier is not suppose to give you change (I have had a cashier give me the $1) but last night the cashier did nothing. I had to go to the customer service center and have them refund my card $1. Make sure to pay attention to your receipt if you shop at Safeway, use coupons and EBT.
    I have not had a problem at Raley’s or Costco with my EBT yet.

  29. Erin says:

    well, being a full time student and mom to twin toddlers, i have to admit, i’ll use any thing i can to get by! i use food stamps and coupons, and usually i DO separate my transactions, simply to reduce the amount of CASH out of my pocket. I make my food stamps stretch to usually twice the length that they should last by using coupons, and in case they ever run out, i have a humongous stock pile of essentials in my closet. So far, I haven’t had an issue with coupons and foodstamps, however, I have gotten 3-4 dollars cash back somehow a couple times… weird huh.

  30. Kim says:

    It is a means to an end…

    The card might be a little easier, but handing over a bright white card and having to tell the cashier that it is FS and then having them not hear you and having to repeat yourself doesn’t make it any less noticable. We are in school with 2 kids and without the help we are receiving right now I don’t know if we could do it. In TX there is no food tax, and I have never had a problem with a coupon for non food going towards food so I always do mine together. Anything to blend in after scanning a huge stack of coupons and then having to pay with 2 different cards. I should where a sign on my back that says “seriously I am going to be here for a min, maybe try the next line-sorry”

    • Laurie says:

      Don’t be embarrassed at all! I was a cashier here in California for 10 years and never thought anything negative about people with food stamps (unless they were buying a cart full of things like Ding Dongs and Doritos!). You’re working hard and I think it’s commendable that you take the time to use coupons to make that money last! Good for you!!

  31. Retha says:

    Foodstamps are not taxed because it’s money from the government and would go back to the government. The computer at the registar will seperate your food/non food items automatically. At king soopers I usually just hand over all my coupons, and the cashier scans all for one transaction. My food comes off first via EBT, and then whats left over that I owe for non food is the final I pay out of pocket. I always use coupons with my foodstamps because that is the only way I can make them stretch the entire month, and many times longer. Also if you don’t use all of your food stamps in the month they roll over to the next month. At some stores however they need to know specifically before hand that you are using ebt and coupons. I have only had to do that at whole foods, and Sunflower.

  32. Ashley says:

    In regards to Kelly’s post, I think that the reason why the stats are backwards is because the people who earn a higher income have to be budget conscious. The middle class are the ones who are trying to survive in these hard economic times. The middle class make enough money to where they do not qualify for welfare. So the first thing and most easiest way to budget would be to lower a grocery bill! Now I have never been on welfare and I am not looking down on the system, but I know that there are people who abuse it. I used to be a cashier and I have to say that the people who do use food stamps eat better than I do! I even remember a family that bought all expensive organic food, things that I could never afford nor would be willing to spend money on if I had it. Again, I am not knocking welfare. I am happy that it out there for people who really need when they are going through a hard time in their life. But when you pay for your food with EBT and then by a carton of cigarettes and a case of beer with your cash….give me a break. It should not be used to live off of!

    • Sallie says:

      There’s nothing wrong with buying organic food with your foodstamps. Just because a family chooses to eat pesticide-free foods doesn’t mean they are abusing the system. They are choosing what is best for THEIR family.

      • Iris says:

        Thank you! I’m on foodstamps currently. I’m a single mom of two, working and going to school. I have chosen to buy healthy, organic, natural foods for my children so they aren’t exposed to harmful pesticides and other chemicals in our foods nowadays. Certain foods I’m ok buying non-organic such as bananas, pineapple etc. but I want the best for my children and for them to grow up strong and healthy. And I use my foodstamps to purchase organic, natural foods instead of junk for them. I do use coupons for such products and watch for sales so I can stretch the benefits farther. It should not be a bad thing for me to use my benefits to provide healthy nutrition for my kids.

  33. sheila says:

    I live in Nashville,Tn and for a short while my family and I have been on EBT and WIC. I am a FAITHFUL user of coupons I look at foodstamps as another form of money and I want to stretch it as far as I can. I don’t pay sales tax on the food but I do on the coupons themselves if that makes sense. If I have $5 in coupons that is what I pay taxes on. As far as WIC, I ddn’t know we could use coupons with those, I know they have changed it and you have to buy “store brand” on somethings which is fine by me. I’m not going to complain with the help I’m getting. People have their on opionions (?sp) and I’m happy to see people respecting each others, this site and the people on it are just AWESOME. Thank you

    • Kathy says:

      I tried to use coupons with a WIC purchase once, in Nashville, and the cashier told me that there was no purpose for my using coupons — it did not increase the amount of food I was able to get or help me in any way. I need someone to explain using coupons with WIC!

  34. Patricia says:

    My hubby has been unemployed/underemployed for a year now (We are nearing 25% unemployment in our county) And we have been on food stamps. We try and limit ourselves to healthy foods, and I have alwalys stockpiled–as foodstamp amounts have fluctuated wildly for us…at one point we recieved 3 times my normal budget, and at another point less than half. I simply feel this is good stewardship, and though we are on assistance right now,we won’t always be. But I do have to say people DO abuse the system. (My own MIL has been on it for about 28 years now, and hasn’t held down a job since the eighties) I just wish there was a simple way to sort everyone out, but there isn’t, so we are just trying not to be to much of a burden for now, and we recognize that our taxes will be funding it for others soon enough.

    I have never had a problem with the coupons not coming off the right item, in fact, at safeway they even mark which coupons were for food. I am still new to couponing and am having a blast finding out how little I need to spend to get the things I need/want. I am really excited over my savings now! With help from KCL I have been saving 60-80% wooo hooo!!

  35. chantal C says:

    I’m in TN.
    We dont pay oop for sales tax when using coupons.

    I have never noticed when doing a food/non food purchase because its not often i combine them, but I will have to look next time I do one and check on the other half of it..

  36. Kelly says:

    There was an article awhile back that stated some kind of stats that around 50% of people who coupon make a household income of between $50K and $75K. The lowest percentage of people who coupon were the household income of the lowest bracket. In short, the people who SHOULD be couponing, DON’T, and the ones who really don’t need to, DO. I don’t understand why those stats are so backwards. I think there should be programs like food stamps, I feel if I were to use food stamps, I would feel it was my duty to use coupons to supplement what the taxpayers were giving me. Just seems like a way to be respectful and a good steward with what has been given. Just my two cents.

  37. Karen says:

    Thanks for the timely post. While helping a friend learn about couponing, she asked me about this topic and said, “Do you think I could ask The Krazy Coupon Lady?” I giggled and said “Yes!”

  38. I live in TN and have a neighbor who is on food stamps and tells me that they don’t take coupons. I will have to find out more and ask her if she’s tried lately or just heard from someone else that they don’t. I will let you know what I find out!

  39. JJ says:

    Wow, this was meant to encourage Mothers that receive limited food dollars to learn how to stretch them…and it turned into a moral discussion and, in some cases, “high horse”. If you have never been on food stamps and feel like you can comment on the depravity of the system then I would hope you get involved to either educate yourself or make some changes.
    ON THE FS issue: In WA state-at least Safeway, coupons are treated as cash in the tendering process. SO-anything that was food will be charged to your EBT as the full amount without the coupons. If there is overage, you get that in cash or it will be transferred to your “cash” benefits or non-food/taxable items. That’s why you end up getting some items for free in the end because they charged the full food amount to your FS bene’s and the “overage” paid for non-food.

    • Tammy says:

      JJ your response was right on. I was on food stamps for a couple of months when my husband got laid off. It pays to use coupons with the EBT card I always got money back. It charged the card the full price and some of the coupons I got the money back. I used that to buy diapers. I only got 350.00 a month which was plenty for me since I used coupons with that.

      My nephew gets 700.00 a month and they get the stuff from the gas station and all the junk food. They are broke before the end of the month. Some people do abuse the system and some truely do need it.

  40. Heather says:

    This is a little bit of a hard subject to discuss, because there is a lot of variance from state to state, especially as far as tax goes.

    Thanks for the respectful discussions everyone! I think it’s a very interesting subject.

  41. JulietsButterfly says:

    I don’t know how it works everywhere, but at my stores in GA (Kroger and Walmart) they wanted me to separate out my WIC stuff. It got to be annoying when I’d have my order separated with obvious WIC items and my WIC folder on top and they’d start scanning before I could give them the voucher. I didn’t always use coupons with WIC items. They gave me funny looks when I’d use the occasional cereal coupon with the WIC stuff. I at least saved money using the Kroger card sometimes.

    The sales tax thing is weird. Why won’t the tax be paid by the EBT card? If you don’t use coupons do you pay the tax on EBT items OOP? I ask because my brother is on food stamps (lovely being laid off) and while I don’t have confidence in him wanting to coupon, he might be able to save here and there.

  42. Morgan says:

    I have to write more about the WIC program. Here in Washington state, WIC is extremely generous and provides a considerable amount of choices in products, brand selection and is sensitive to the needs of each client. Using coupons is a great way to not only save the WIC program money, it enables you to get more for your WIC dollars. While it may not save YOU any money if you used a coupon for formula, it does allow for WIC to help more client! And if you used a coupon for produce (however rare they might be) YOU are benefiting by getting more fruits/vegg for less money. It’s a win-win situation. I also want to remind WIC users; if you aren’t going to consume a particular item(s) on your WIC check, DON’T BUY IT! It saves the state money! Personally, we don’t buy the baby meat because my son won’t eat it. It doesn’t go to waste, its just a few less dollars out of the WIC bank account!

    *This applies to Washington State only, I’m not sure how other states opperate thier WIC programs.*

    If we were ever in a position to need food stamps, I would continue to use coupons and shop sales. It would insure a greater amount of food for my family, while costing the state less money. Personally I would feel like it was my job to be a savy shopper while the state is footing my grocery bill….

    • Amy says:

      It is refreshing to see that there are some people using these programs responsibly. I think these programs are needed, but I also think they should be given to people for a limited time frame. I think it is intended for people to use to get back on their feet. I also believe that only healthy food should be allowed as I know is the case with WIC. The EBT thing that is being talked about seems wrong to me. What happened to the food stamps? Yes, I’m sure it was embarrassing to use them, but maybe that would encourage people a little more. EBT cards look just like credit cards. Credit cards filled with tax payer dollars.

      • Emily says:

        The switch to EBT wasn’t about saving face for people who need help, it’s about preventing fraud and theft. In the past, Food Stamps could be stolen and used by anyone. Now, each EBT card has a pin number, so if it is lost or stolen, it can’t be used. It saves the government hundreds of dollars and keeps people honest. Furthermore, it saves other consumers time at the checkout line. It also allows the state to combine two benefits into one system–emergency cash and food stamps. It’s about efficiency and making it as cost effective as possible. As for your suggestion that food stamps be offered only for a limited time, who do you propose should decide that? After working for 8 years on the family farm, the whole thing went belly up and in order to survive my husband went back to school full time at age 30. We live on student loans, and food stamps. I try to build food storage with it, using coupons to stockpile so that we don’t have to use public assistance for the rest of his schooling, but if we did, why should Amy from KCL decide that that’s not right? I know some abuse the system, but don’t make broad assumptions that punnish those of us that are really doing the best we can.

        • JazminD says:

          Im a mother of two under two (by accident) in the middle of my husbands medical school training….we are one year from graduation but i had to quit my job because two kids in daycare really wasnt cost effective with me working and yeah im living off loans and food stamps as well. Im crazy responsible with it and i make sure we use everything and i use coupons to stockpile as well. In fact most of the school is on food stamps because its impossible to work and go to medical school at the same time. its a limited time thing and i paid the system before we needed it i will pay it back once were back on our feet. Amy from KCL shame shame shame on you.

        • JazminD says:

          Im a mother of two under two (by accident) in the middle of my husbands medical school training….we are one year from graduation but i had to quit my job because two kids in daycare really wasnt cost effective with me working and yeah im living off loans and food stamps as well. Im crazy responsible with it and i make sure we use everything and i use coupons to stockpile as well. In fact most of the school is on food stamps because its impossible to work and go to medical school at the same time. its a limited time thing and i paid the system before we needed it i will pay it back once were back on our feet. Amy from KCL shame shame shame on you.

        • JazminD says:

          Im a mother of two under two (by accident) in the middle of my husbands medical school training….we are one year from graduation but i had to quit my job because two kids in daycare really wasnt cost effective with me working and yeah im living off loans and food stamps as well. Im crazy responsible with it and i make sure we use everything and i use coupons to stockpile as well. In fact most of the school is on food stamps because its impossible to work and go to medical school at the same time. its a limited time thing and i paid the system before we needed it i will pay it back once were back on our feet. Amy from KCL shame shame shame on you.

        • JazminD says:

          Im a mother of two under two (by accident) in the middle of my husbands medical school training….we are one year from graduation but i had to quit my job because two kids in daycare really wasnt cost effective with me working and yeah im living off loans and food stamps as well. Im crazy responsible with it and i make sure we use everything and i use coupons to stockpile as well. In fact most of the school is on food stamps because its impossible to work and go to medical school at the same time. its a limited time thing and i paid the system before we needed it i will pay it back once were back on our feet. Amy from KCL shame shame shame on you.

      • Amy says:

        Emily, I think there are more people who abuse the system than who don’t. I said that I believe the program is there for a reason and your situation is one of those reasons. I’m not on my high horse as someone else stated. My mom was on food stamps for AWHILE after my parents were divorced. It was embarrassing and she wanted to be off of them as soon as she possibly could. I respect you and your husband for doing the right thing, really I do. Going to school is proving that you are working towards your goal. Some people just continue to use the system as long as possible and that is what disturbs me. I’ve also seen that these food stamp cards are excepted for convenience foods now like at gas station deli and Papa Murphys. Those things are NOT necessities.

      • Emily says:

        Fair point, Amy. I just worry that our perception of the system may in fact not be the reality. I agree that using food stamps at the convenience store to buy a soda and candy bar is wasteful. It may be that my personal huff was inspired less by your comment as it was on the fact that I was getting ready to go shopping and had to get out of going with my mother-in-law so she wouldn’t find out we are on foodstamps because she would be very mad. Sorry I let my personal problem get huffy with you. I’m sure you’re a very nice person.

    • Sara says:

      Morgan, I do the same thing! My son won’t eat the baby food meat either so I never get it. I also never get the tuna because we can our own tuna. It drives me nuts when I hear other people mention that they even if they can’t use all the juice/cheese/milk/whatever (any particular item for example) that they give it away to someone else, or, even worse, throw the baby food away and use the jars for some other purpose. Personally, I understand that the food isn’t just “free from the government” but that it is paid for by taxpayers. It is also important to me that in everything I do I should strive to be a good steward, to be thankful and to be honorable. That includes how I use my WIC checks.

    • Jennifer m says:

      I hadn’t thought to use coupons on wic before, but it would make sense. Heree in AL we have winn-Dixie with the baby club. So I fill my wic formula there and for every $200 (about 2 vouchers) I spend, I earn a 10 credit. I usually buy a case of wipes. There have been a couple vouchers I didn’t use, but that’s because I didn’t get to the store in time to use them.

      I have noticed ( when buying pediaite), that the rite aid couputers don’t separate food and non food coupons for food stamps. So make sure to separate transactions there or it could be mis-use.

  43. mary lee says:

    hi,i’m a kroger shopper. I use foodstamps,i purchase non-food items,such as diapers, wipe,dish detergent,toiletry items,etc.I most definatly use coupons-lots of them.I may shop maybe every two wks,I don’t seperate any of it, they ring it all up in one transaction, when i check out the items that are non foodstamp items end up being free,I only pay the taxes on the coupons. I dont exactly know why that is but its free. my total usually comes to $280, then w/coupons and card savings, I usually pay maybe$140 or so. hope this helps someone.

  44. tamika says:

    food is non taxed. that is, most food is non taxed, in florida. deli and bakery hot items are taxed, as well as some snack-type stuff. never used food stamps, just know this from my mom who has worked for/at grocery stores her whole life.

  45. Audra says:

    I have used food stamps for about a year and a half. My husband works and goes to school but for now we are very poor. I have noticed that some stores make you pay the sales tax and others don’t. Actually at Albertson’s once I received change from the change machine. I gave it back to the cashier. You can also use coupons with WIC but why bother? The state is paying for the food. I have never separated my transactions unless I am using RR or Catalinas that I want put toward the non-food. The registers seems to subtract the right coupons from the right items. It is nice being able to stretch my food dollars even further!

    • Amy says:

      I think you should use coupons for WIC items if you can because it saves the tax payers money. It is a responsible thing to do.

      • LISETTE says:

        AMY; I USED TO USE COUPONS ON WIC WHEN I LIVED IN FL..THINKING THAT THIS PROGRAM COULD BENEFIT MORE PEOPLE IF EVRYONE DID THIS, BUT I TRIED DOING IT HERE IN WI, AND THEY DIDNT LET ME..THEY REFUSED MY COUPONS..;(

    • Morgan says:

      Why bother using coupons for WIC? Is that serious question/statement? For the same reason you would use coupons for food stamps, 1) it stretches what you can purchase, and 2) it the responsible thing to do while using state/federal money.

      The state/govt. pays for both WIC and Food Stamps, so your argument is pointless. If you are reciving WIC and food stamps you should be doing whatever you can to maximize your purcashes, and save the “state” money as well. Wic is just like food stamps,just with pre-set limits and conditions.

      I hope you didn’t mean to come of the way you did. Perhaps it was just an oversight or error. As a tax payer I find it offensive that you would say “why bother” just because the checks don’t come out of your account!

      • Sara says:

        While I completely agree that you should definitely try to use coupons on WIC transactions, I don’t agree with point one in your argument that it will stretch your dollar further. It just really doesn’t hold true since WIC gives vouchers for certain food items regardless of the price, not a set amount of money like food stamps. (The only exception would be the produce vouchers since they have a dollar amount, but coupons for produce are so rare I wouldn’t include that in the argument.) As a current WIC client, I always try to pick the brands that are on sale and I always try to use whatever coupons I may have as well (especially for the cereals – I always have extra cereal coupons!). I figure I’m saving the government money so that program can continue longer. If every WIC person did this, we probably could cut the cost of the program in half!!

  46. Amy says:

    I think everyone should have to pay the sales tax. I don’t think people using food stamps should be exempt. Do the grocery stores just pay it?

    • JJ says:

      Then the incentive for FS users to use coupons would be gone. The sales tax is paid then by the state, only because you used FS did you have to owe ANYTHING in cash. So, if they say “Oh well, forget about the coupons” they wouldn’t owe a dime. It would be like the state paying the state. BUT-if the tax ONLY on the amount of the coupons is forgiven then the incentive for saving, budgeting and getting your *ss off FS is there. *speaking as a FS survivor*

    • Sallie says:

      Why don’t you just stick to the subject at hand? No one asked for your personal opinions on food stamp users. This topic is about using coupons with food stamps. People who use coupons have enough problems with people who like to bash them (calling them lazy, mooching off the system, etc) without comments like yours. Thank you.

  47. Nadir says:

    When I was a grocery cashier in SC, sales tax was not charged on EBT-eligible items. When a customer told me they were paying with their EBT card, I pressed the EBT button on the register and the tax was removed (or reduced if they had bought non-food items).

    It’s been a few years, though, so maybe this has changed. It makes sense, though – why would they expect you to pay sales tax with benefits that are paid for with tax money?

  48. Denise says:

    I’ve never yet used food stamps either, but I know that in CA we don’t pay sales tax on any food purchase ever… but we certainly pay it on things like cleaning supplies–to the tune of nearly 10%.

  49. Nichole says:

    It is also good to use coupons on WIC items. This helps save the program money so it can go back to help more people who need it.

    • Nikki says:

      I tried to use coupons on a WIC purchase and was told I couldn’t do it. I don’t know if has anything to do with the type of coupon I had. It was a BOGO coupon. I was told it was taking advantage of the system.

    • Corrina says:

      I’m on WIC and live in CA. The WIC office has told me that they have a lot of money in their program and to not worry about trying to save them money. They DO recommend using coupons if it will benfit us…say there is a BOGO free coupon so we would get 2 items instead of one. However, I have not found a deal like that yet =(

  50. Julee says:

    I have a friend who uses the EBT card and she’s found that at the Albertsons on Ten Mile/Linder and one of the ones in Caldwell – don’t charge her the tax on her coupons. The register and receipt show that she owes the change, but they never ask for it. I’m not sure what the cashiers actually do, but on the receipt it looks like they short their cash drawers for it.

  51. Amanda Preston says:

    I can’t say what Idaho EBT does ( I would imagine it would be the same country wide, but maybe not).

    I live in TN and when I had EBT, sales tax is FORGIVEN. In otherwords, you won’t be charged sales tax.

    Again, I don’t know about every state, but we did not pay sales tax in TN when using this card.

    • Tonyasnodderly says:

      I live in Tn and they charge sales tax on coupons and in store sales. We purchased the in store sale items and were charged 84 cent for the 5.00 dollar discount.

    • Tonyasnodderly says:

      I live in Tn and they charge sales tax on coupons and in store sales. We purchased the in store sale items and were charged 84 cent for the 5.00 dollar discount.

    • Tonyasnodderly says:

      I live in Tn and they charge sales tax on coupons and in store sales. We purchased the in store sale items and were charged 84 cent for the 5.00 dollar discount.

  52. Tina says:

    Thanks! I didn’t know registers could tell food from non-food coupons. It now makes sense that I should split transactions to food/non-food to save OOP.