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Extreme Couponing Tip: Use Coupons with Food Aid Programs

Extreme Couponing Tip: Use Coupons with Food Aid Programs

Did you know that you not only can use coupons with programs like WIC and Food Stamps to lower your total bill, but you can save them money, allowing more families in need to receive assistance?

Federal Aid programs can really help those in need. If you are currently receiving assistance, make sure to purchase sale items, swipe your loyalty cards, and use coupons whenever possible! Simply separate your purchases into approved food (covered by WIC/ Food Stamps) and non-food items (those not covered), and make sure to hand over all applicable coupons before you run your EBT card or hand over your checks/vouchers. Your final total will be lower, allowing you to purchase more food for your family. Also, when coupons are used, less taxpayer money is needed to fund the transaction, and therefore more needy individuals and families can participate.

Please note that these programs DO encourage coupon use. If your retailer says they will not accept coupons with these programs, call the appropriate program hotline to report the store so they know what to do in the future. If you have a shopping guide or paperwork that states how coupons are encouraged, take this with you to checkout to help out uniformed cashiers.

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79 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Use Coupons with Food Aid Programs”

  1. I don’t know where your 2% number comes from but I sadly know quite a few people that abuse the system.  

  2. what a great idea!  We are not on food stamps, but we receive WIC and I’ve never used coupons on the food items, but I do price match the fruits & veggies at walmart so I can get the most amount of them that I can with our $10 fruit & veggie WIC voucher!  It makes such a difference! 

  3. Okay…. Maybe I’m seriously uninformed… but as far as I know ( at least in the states of MO, MN, and UT) you CANNOT use coupons for WIC vouchers. I personally have never understood this, but I’m pretty sure it’s because you have to buy the “store brand, or least expensive brand” … and say if you shop at Wal- Mart- I’ve never heard of coupons on Great Value products… so it’s kind of impossible to use coupons and shop sales anyways. You can use coupons with Food Stamps, and I think that’s great, but you will be charged tax on your coupons, strangely enough. So unless you all know something I don’t, good luck trying to convince your cashier to let you use coupons on your vouchers. ( P.S. A lot of employers take WIC very seriously, and they will fire their employees if they make more than 3 mistakes on any WIC transactions… so make sure you do it legally) I used to be a cashier and currently I am a part of WIC so if you do know something I don’t, let me know!

  4. sweetcaninebakery says:

    We get both and use coupons. I always get such a hard time about using my rewards card and coupons on my wic items though. I really wish they trained people better

  5. Anonymous says:

    KCL, it would be great if you could add this post or one similar to it to the beginners section of your site.  Hard as my husband and I tried to keep our heads above water we finally had to break down and apply for FS.  The first thing I did was research if I could continue to use coupons and found very little information. There wasn’t even anything listed on the goverment site.   It took time to learn how each store handles coupons (and yes every store does handle them differently)  when you pay by EBT but it is totaly worth the extra effort.  I watched a show on tv about families on FS not to long ago and how they have empty cabinets by the end of the month and arrive at Walmart at midnight when their deposit is made so they can eat the next morning.  My husband got a good chuckle at me screaming at them “Where are your coupons?!!”   I also want to thank everyone who commented on this for being mindfull of your thoughts.  So many times I have read posts were everyone is so quick to judge.  One thing that is never mentioned is how poorly this system is run, at least were I live. It has taken me days (no exageration) to speak to a live person.  They tell me they need some kind of documentatin.  I send it in and they make changes to my case that don’t make sense.  I call again and they tell me they need different information.  I send it in and see no change to my case.  I call a third time and get a third answer.  Each of the three calls took close to an hour each.  No wonder it takes forever to speak to someone.  Maybe if the government could get there act together those few that do take advantage of the system would have a harder time doing so.  And those that truely need temporary assistance could get it.

  6. GREAT ARTICLE! I have had varied success in the past using coupons with the WIC program. Often times cashiers have limited training in program details and are quick to say no to coupons.
    I asked the WIC office at our last visit to find that coupons and price matching ARE encouraged. Wish I had asked sooner and that this article will encourage those who are not yet using coupons.
    This knowledge has really helped me find a voice at the cash register instead of just accepting a “no” from the cashier.

  7. nevermind. I just looked it up on the internet and apparently because i already have comcast internet, I do not qualify. That’s ridiculous. Not fair that I can’t get the service at a discount because no one asked me when I first signed up for it if my kids received reduced lunch…NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT the program…:(((

  8. Anonymous says:

    My husband and I have always worked full time (most times working 2-3 jobs each!).  Last year my husband discovered he had a tumor in his leg and had to undergo 4 surgeries to determine what it was and to remove the 10 pound tumor.  He was off work and not getting paid and I had to take a lot of unpaid time off too.  We went to try to get medical assistance for hospital bills but we did not qualify because he had health insurance through his work (even though they would not pay for most of bills) but we did qualify for snap benefits.  I was not proud of having to go on assistance but knew we had to do something.  I was already couponing and continued to coupon with the snap benefits.  Because of that I was able to stock up on a lot of food for the 6 months we received assistance and we are still eating the food that was purchased with the snap benefits!  Because of receiving the assistance we were able to use what little money we did have coming in to pay the bills and put gas in our vehicle to drive back and forth for all the doctor visits and hospital stays.  Thanks to KCL and other coupon blogs we are now back on our feet and have most of the medical bills paid off and have not been on any kind of assistance for 6 months!

  9. When I would use my fruit and veggie WIC vouchers at Wal-Mart, I would always price comp and alot of cashiers would ask there CSM if I could do that and they always said “yes”. Made that $6.00 a month go a bit further.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting article, stirred up a lot of conversation.   Reminds me of articles/posts on those bad apples that abuse the coupon system and give couponers a bad rap.  Just as there are couponers who abuse the system, there are people who abuse the SNAP and WIC systems as well and give them a bad rap.  
    I love that KCL is all about those who use coupons the right way and sounds like they support those who use SNAP and WIC for those who really do need it as well.
    Thank you KCL, as a SNAP user I was running out of benefits before the month was over and we’d didn’t have the $$ to buy food.  We also never had much in way of toiletries either.  Now thanks to your site I have a stockpile of food and have enough reserve in my account for this summer when the kiddos are home and eat more meals here.  I also have a stockpile of “free” & “MM” items in medicine and toiletries.   With our plan in place we are hopeful to be off all government benefits within the year but will continue to coupon forever. 
     You have changed so many peoples lives.   Keep up the great work. THANKS!!

  11.  For those of you struggling, I just found out about a program through Comcast that allows families with children who recieve free or reduced lunch to have internet connection for 9.95 a month. It is called Internet Essentials. I hope this helps somebody. 

    • SERIOUSLY????? I live in MA and I have Comcast, but I pay the $50 a month for it right now. I have to because I’m in school online. I get WIC and my kids have reduced lunch. How do I get on this program???? Holy cow would that help me!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am a single mom of 2 boys and I receive SNAP and WIC. They are wonderful programs that help alot. I do want to point out though that when I first started using coupons with SNAP about 3-4 years ago, you had to pay for the coupon. If you had a $1 off coupon, you had to pay $.10 or something around that. I recently started couponing again and have noticed that it is no longer that way. So if that happened to any of you, it might be worth a shot to try again. Recently on one of my shopping trips I managed to get groceries for the entire month (besides beef and chicken) for only $120.00 using coupons and sales. For those on SNAP, you know that the remaining balance will be available until I use it. Well, I plan on doing the same thing next month so that I have a good balance built up for this summer when the kiddos are out of school. It is a great way to try to save up because I will be cooking 2 extra meals a day.

    KCL – Thank you for posting this. Maybe in the future you could talk to a few people that do use coupons with WIC and SNAP and have a “help” section for those on the programs that want to learn more about using coupons with their assistance. It could help many people.  

    • Anonymous says:

      It probably depends on where you live.   I use coupons and every store except 1 (Dominick’s) charges me when I use coupons.   Here in IL food tax is 2% so it’s not much but still annoying.   BUT there is always that time when the register considers my coupons as cash and I get cash back.   I’ve found that it all nets out in the end.  
      You’re right though definately pays to use coupons on SNAP, build a stockpile and save for the summer when they are out of school and more meals and snacks to provide.  My children just eat more in the summer, they burn off more running around too though.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I only get 83.00 a month in stamps because we usually have about 1000 in are bank account at a time. Which confused me because  our mortgage is 730 and our electric gas is 180 each month. So the money is only there a short amount of time. But I dont let it bother me. I take my 83.00 and wait for the really good meat sale or buy meat close to expiration and put in my freezer. buy a couple different fruits every week (whatever is on sale) and coupon like Krazy the rest of it. Luckily my two year old and husband like hamburger helper.because I have been buying a lot of it since its always on sale with coupons. I buy all my husbands lunch meat when the deli is close to closing and they put the meats out that are 50% off at meijer. All our bread comes from the aunt Millies Thrift shop(unless theres a really good sale) and usually every meal has some frozen veggies that I picked up for cheap. This next week we will be eating cheerios for breakfast  that I bought at kmart for $.98 a box with coupons. I have family that complain that they dont get enough when they are getting 300 or more a month on their cards. They say they dont have time to coupon. Well I believe they do because they dont have two year olds running around. So thank you Krazy coupon lady for showing me how to stretch every dollar I have.

  14. Christy Carter says:

    My husband was unemployed for about 3 month last year, and we received assistance.  I used coupons before and after this time.  One thing that was a bit shocking, was that I would owe tax on the coupon amounts used.  Not that paying the .25 or more for a transaction of groceries was an issue, but if I had used my ebt alone, tax is waived.  Just thought that was odd and a bit strange that if I’m saving the gov’t money, I have to pay tax on the items.

  15. I understand using coupons with food stamps and occasionally wic, but I know wic will only let you get a certian amount of items, and they don’t care if you use a coupon, you might be able to us a b1g1 coupon which is just fine, but using a $1/1 at wic seems like a waste to me. you aren’t getting anything else out of the deal, my deal with it is most people on wic run out of stuff days before they get another wic check, why would you use that $1/1 on a wick check whenever you need it on food stamps? I coupon and do food stamps, Infact i just made a huge trip when we got our food stamps, making it easy for us to go through the rest of the month without buying food unless its on sale. the using a $1/1 on wic item that won’t help you get more just doesn’t make sense to me is all. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    I have to admit, I used to think Food Stamps and WIC were for the ‘ghetto’ type people, but when the economy took a dive and my husband’s pay stayed the same (under $30,000) for over 3 years, we were in a sense ‘forced’ to go on government assistance in order to make it by.  We are a family of 5 living on one income of less than $30,000, while I have been trying for disability for a neurological disorder for the past 3+ years – yes the system is apparently that backed up.  My hubby also is working full time and going to college full time trying to get a better job.  I was raised buying  the ‘cheap’ stuff from Walmart – not high end stores.  My hubby was the opposite but has since turned to my ways  lol.  I know all about hand-me-downs as my kids get them and I used to as well and still do.  I buy 99% of my kids clothes at yard sales.  I always use coupons with FS and am always trying to save money.  I know now there are a LOT of legit families that need help just to get by.  My view has definitely changed.

  17. I also love how every example of “food stamp abuse” lately includes a complaint about the person having an iPhone. I have a three year old piece of crap Samsung that I had to PAY for, and my boyfriend (who is on his family plan, as I would guess many young food stamp recipients are, since family plans are often cheaper than a plan of your own) has a brand new iPhone and pays LESS MONTHLY than I pay for my not-smart-phone with a camera that doesn’t even work. People just make assumptions—maybe she pays less for the iPhone than she would a piece of crap phone, ever consider that? Should she pay more so that her phone isn’t as nice as yours?

  18. That 2% must live in New Orleans. I grew up in the area. I’ve heard so many stories about how people abuse the system. I’ve been on food stamps before out of necessity. I’ve had people tell me ways to try to get more money by falsifying facts but I chose not to do that. 

    A lot of people don’t want to use coupons on these programs b/c they don’t want to pay the taxes. I didn’t use coupons b/c of that reason as well. I did try to use them for WIC. Albertsons told me they didn’t take them. Wal-Mart doesn’t price match for fresh fruit/veggies. Crazy. 

  19. Leslie Lee says:

     I have to agree, I’m on SNAP (food stamps for those not in the know) and live in the ‘ghetto’ of our affluent little town here (it’s the nicest ghetto i’ve ever lived in!). These preconceived notions of everyone ripping the government off are thoughts from the past. It just doesn’t happen with the frequency that it used to. I drive a 15 year old Jeep, I do have nice new furniture ONLY because they were on sale AND we got a deep discount because my boyfriend works nights at the store (so I can go to school during the day – and he watches our children during the day because we can’t afford day care).

      I’m just guilty of being a broke mom with dreams of higher education. Sometimes you’ve gotta eat a little crow to get ahead in life. I get dirty looks all of the time from people in line (self check out is my new best friend!), I must look like the appitamy of poor – food stamps AND coupons! My hair is nice, I get hair cuts every 8-12 weeks for $30 and I dye it myself with $0.50 hair dye, no $100 hairdo’s here! My kids dress nicely (Old Navy, Macy’s, Kohl’s, JcPenny) thanks to my keen deal shopping I can get them all of the nice, current things for a fraction of the cost.

  20. Missa Thrall says:

     I’m a full time student with 2 children and my husband is dealing with some issues so he’s not able to work right now. We do receive food stamps and I do use coupons with our food stamps but I do not use the cash assistance program. I’ve chosen to take out student loans to pay our bills while I’m going to school. I’m glad to be able to have access to food stamps in our time of need. I’ve always had a job but lost my job and decided to go back to school to get a better education. If not for the food stamp program I wouldn’t know where I would get money for food while I’m doing something to better our family. I’m glad there are blogs like this who have taught me so much about couponing. I’ve been able to grow my stockpile tremendously since I’ve started couponing.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I have to be honest and I’m sure my comment might make some people angry. I think this program is good for those who truly need it and for those who don’t abuse it – someone who has children, has been laid off, and is attempting to find work. I think it should be temporary and I don’t think you should continue to bear children if you cannot feed the ones you have by your own accord. I am willing to lend a helping hand to those willing to put in some of their own effort to improve their own situation and those who I am most willing to help and those who I think deserve it are the people who will be the first person to work at any job or work two or three jobs to make ends meet. No questions asked, I am willing to help these people. Right now I’m sure someone is thinking I’m judgemental or unsympathetic, but consider it from my perspective as an individual who ultimately pays for these programs with my tax dollars. I put myself through school without help, I work very hard and put in overtime, I get up very early every morning to go to work even though I’m not a morning person. I put in a lot of my personal time and effort to work to pay for these programs, never do I get thanked and I see the system abused by some people who are just takers with a sense of entitlement. Don’t I have the right to expect that recipients put effort in to the same degree as I do? I use coupons because I need to, why shouldn’t someone on WIC be expected to do the same since they obviously have a “need” as well. Why don’t recipients have to be drug tested, just like I do for my job? I think I’ve made my point, it’s just hard to swallow from my perspective.

    •  I agree, I’ve also put in 10 years of paying for these programs and have been getting WIC for about 2 years. I’ve always worked hard and more then one job but after having our second child I couldn’t work. I’d be happy to pee in a cup or whatever else was needed. I feel wic is very different then food stamps althogh if you need them I have nothing against that. Wic provides my children healthy food to eat. I don’t feel entitled at all, I’m grateful for the program and I thank you for working hard everyday. I get wic and use coupons because it’s a need for my family and saving is my full time job right now.

  22. I used to use coupons with WIC but the new system wont let me use paper coupons with WIC anymore. I can use my load to card coupons and I always try to buy the juice,milk, eggs ect.. that are on sale to keep the price down just like if it we’re my money paying for the food

  23. My family is in a situation where it was necessary to be on wic and food stamps.  I use coupons with both and it has helped so much.  Before I started to extreme coupon, we were spending over $100/month out of pocket in addition to the assistance. Now with extreme couponing techniques we are not only saving that $100 but also we have enough left over each month to build a food storage for emergency.  I can also now bring good dishes to family gatherings and parties instead of showing up with nothing.  

  24. Nicole Orr says:

    when you use your kroger card, you also earn gas points for your wic approved purchases! 

  25. Lisa Biggs says:

    i love what you had to say it is so true, people are so quick to judge another with out thinking twice

  26. Mendy Loyd says:

    In Alabama you CANNOT use coupons with WIC — it specifically states it in our instructions.  Also, if you use food stamps and coupons together, you are responsible for paying the sales tax.  It’s cheaper for me out of pocket to just shop the sales and not use coupons.

  27. Could someone explain how this works with wic where I could get more. The checks seem pretty specific in the quantity you are allowed to get.

    •  read your WIC book it say your are entitled to the free item the store offers just like if you were paying cash for the item. You can always call your WIC office to double check. My safeway does BOGo WIC items at least once a month and that’s when I use most of my checks to get the best deals.

  28. Anonymous says:

    My daughter has an EBT card and it’s been a real learning experience.  She works and goes to college and her amount gets adjusted by the state depending on her income.  I have actually taken her shopping and we use all my coupons while I’ve been teaching her.  She needs the assistance and greatly appreciates the help with her food.  It allows her to have the money to pay for toiletries, etc.  With my couponing skills and her EBT card she has been able to get on her feet, and will get through college and not need her EBT card at some point.  We have never had any problem with the stores accepting the coupons.

  29. so since ya’ll are on the subject I have a question. . .
    I was shopping at Safeway recently and  I used several coupons for items as well as non coupon items, my total was like 27.00 and I paid with my ebt card, well the change machine spit out .92 I dont know how this happened either. . my purchase was ALL food items too.
    Well the chashier immiaditly said  . . ” I have to put that back in the register, you cant keep that”  i said ok and gave it back.
    Well it happened again yesterday, and I do not know what triggered it. to my knowedge none of the item i bought had overage or were free with coupons, so i was supprised. I pulled the change (like .65) outta the dispencer and handed it to the cashier and she said NO i cannot accept that back. she said it must have been from a coupon but it was mine.

    I know my safeway will pay overage but i am not sure about when paying with EBT.  I thought you should never recieve change (unless there was a mistake on price and there giving a refund or somthing)   I am not sure what triggered it either.
    Why wouldnt the change from one coupon be applied to another??
    If anyone has any ideas or experience in this I would love to know.
    Mostly is it wrong to keep it? do i have to give it back when it happens? if so how do i know if there putting it back. the women who took the change the first time put it on top of the register bc the register didnt open. that didnt seem right either.
    has this happened to anyone else?

    • Anonymous says:

      I have had that happen to me also, I wish I could figure it out! Does any one know how the register figures that out?

    • Grizz Sharp says:

      I can probably answer that about you getting back money. This has happen to me before and the conclusion the manager came up with (this was at Target) is certain coupons have to get overwritten or forced through because you do indeed have that item but just for some reason it is not taking the coupon. Well that coupon does not get paired up with the item instead ends up at the end of the receipt. Well then you swipe your EBT card and the EBT card reads everything that is food. Well those coupons at the bottom of the receipt are read as non-food items so EBT will reject them and say they are not food items so then after you paid for all the others with your EBT you have a negative remainder cause of the coupons.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Grizz Sharp is correct, manually entered coupons may not be included in the amount charged to your food stamps and it will return it to you as cash.   This is your money to keep because your food stamps is charged the amount before the coupon and the store keeps the coupons and gets paid on those coupons.   In essence it consisers your coupons as cash paid.  It’s a fluke that happends every once in awhile at certain stores.   In contrast many times you will get charged and asked to pay cash on the tax on coupons used, so when you get these cash backs it helps to cover those times when you have to pay cash.   HTH

  30. Anonymous says:

    My sister in law receives food stamps. She is a stay at home mother with 6 children with a husband that works 2 full time jobs, they were unable to feed everyone until they applied for food stamps. I told her that she could probably use coupons along with her food stamps but the store ended up charging her 10 cents per coupon. The cashier said government programs charge when coupons are used. I felt bad so I paid the remaining amount because it was my idea. Does anyone else using food stamp ever had this happen?In all I’m really glad that there are programs for people who need funds to put food on the table. Recently Food Network aired a program called Hunger Hits Home, truly melts the heart. I think the program can be found on their website!! 

    • Kay Vane says:

      HMMMMM that sure doesnt sound right – sorry that happened and hopefully you can find another store in your area that coupons can be used.

    • Cynthia Weyerman says:

      I am often charged the tax on any coupons used, and that comes out of my pocket.  It depends on the store so that may have been the reason – so check out the stores policies.

    • Louise Buffaloe says:

      at SOME stores we have to pay tax on the coupons when used with food stamps, Not all stores but some

    • Anonymous says:

      i think i would have her call either the food stamp office or these store corporate offices. something here is not right!!

    • They CHARGE you to use coupons??? That’s crazy! That doesn’t even make sense–if you’re using a coupon on food, food isn’t taxed! (Unless it is in your state.) And money is money whether you’re paying or the government is… why would they penalize you for trying to stretch your grocery budget? Seems counter-intuitive.

    • Linda Grace says:

      Stores get money from the companys, that put out the coupons for taking them so you should never pay to use coupons.  I can see paying tax on what you get. But if the government program was going to pay for all of item . They should pay for tax still owned after coupons used . 

    • Anonymous says:

      no it wasn’t the tax on the food, the store literally charged 10 cents per coupon that we used because i asked the cashier why there was a remaining amount when all we bought was food, and she said “they charge  you for using coupons so be careful”. 

    • Anonymous says:

      At CVS I always end up with a small balance if i use EBT and get only food items.  The amount is usually equal to the tax on the dollar amt of my coupons.  eight percent in my area.   Anyone know why CVS does this?  Doesn’t happen at any other store when using EBT.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I do eligibility for these type of programs. First I do want to say that your worker cares. They are not out to get you or screw you. Their are policies that they must follow. They don’t decide on a whim whether or not you received benefits. They are doing their job and many times do not agree with the policies they have to use.

    Also Foodstamp items no longer have to be separated (I believe WIC still does. I’m less familiar with that program as a nonprofit in our area administers it). If you are purchasing items that are not eligible for foodstamps you will just be asked by the cashier to provide another method of payment. One transaction speeds things up and makes it less obvious to others that you are using FS. 

  32. Anonymous says:

    No matter your opinion on the use of wic or food stamps, or people who use them, or those who do not. Hunger is still hunger and comes in all shapes, sizes and colors and knows no age limit.  People still have needs. Thank goodness we have these services for those who do have the need, and coupons for those who don’t! 

    • Not to mention, WIC is a nutritional program for children and pregnant women, all of your coupons for the month (even if nothing is on sale) only amount to about $50 a month… WIC isn’t even the same thing as food stamps or welfare, you don’t have to be “poor” to be on it, you just can’t make a ton of money. Most young families qualify for WIC.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Great post…I was actually going to post about it but you beat me to it. I myself, receive foodstamps to help support my family. I currently go to school while my husband works, we have 4 kids one of which is an 8 month baby. Having to buy diapers and formula is pricey but thank god we qualify for foodstamps and wic. A few weeks ago I went to Von’s and tried to use a coupon that entitled me to a free bag of M&Ms when you bought certain cereals, the cashier told me I could use the coupon because I was using wic vouchers. Then a couple of days later I went back and noticed that my purchase gave me a catalina coupon, so I asked the cashier if I could use coupons when paying with wic vouchers and her answer was yes. She said “you are entitled to any promotion there is, no matter your method of payment, you are the customer, and if any one tells you you can’t use coupons go to customer service.”
    I just noticed in this weeks ad that vons is having their double you voucher sale for wic. I will take advantage of this.
    as for the comments about people cheating the system…I have to say it DOES happen, but not everyone is guilty of it. I worked for so many years and my taxes help support a lot of needy people. Unfortunately economy came down and now we (my family) are that needy family, I think I have paid my dues and am entitled to the help. I hope its not for long, but hope its as long as we need it. Even though Im on foodstamps I still help those who need it but for some reason can’t get them and by couponing I am able to help. My mom always use to tell me “where one sits and eats, two can sit and eat”, she always said it in spanish though…hahaha

  34. me and my husband are both college students and he is the only one working right now while i stay home with our two girls and we use food stamps trust me im not a lazy person matter of fact im dying to get back to work but day care is sooo expensive. i use to shop once a month and we would run out of everything before the month was even over than i started couponing now i always have some left over for the next month and thanks to kcl i have a better chance on finding deals right along with my weekly circulars now i only go shopping every two weeks. i  have never been on food stamps till my husband was medically discharged  from the army and at first  i felt ashamed but then i realized im providing for MY  family not the ones that shun me and we dont plan on being on it for long. i mean it helps but i still like the idea of me earning it the right way

  35. Anonymous says:

    Thank you! (For this post KCL) I had been meaning to message you to ask if it would be crazy of me to use coupons even though I receive food stamps for my family. I have been using coupons with my food stamp card for a few months now and I feel great about doing so…It saves money that has been put in the card…Any amount that is left over still carries over to the next cycle so I have more ‘money’ on the card to use.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Don’t let others’ unfair judgment deter you from helping out your family. Every one needs help sometime in their life and that’s nothing to be ashamed about, especially in this hard economy. Keep your chin up & getting those savings with coupons! :)

  37. Anonymous says:

    A good alternative for cheap cookware is Goodwill! They always have tons of stuff when I go for much cheaper than retail stores. Keep a lookout for days with specials– at my local store they have 50% off a color of tag Thurs- Mon, so you can save even more. 

    Most people will be in need of assistance at some time in their life and there are good programs to help with that. Being able to use coupons is also a great benefit so that it can assist even more :)

  38. Anna Buliga says:

    thanks for this post. I am a stay at home mom of 3, and my family does receive EBT and Wic, and i’m so grateful, without it i wouldn’t be able to pay my rent or my utilities.

  39. Anonymous says:

    i think i saw the bogo sale for wic items at vons but i didnt understand that thats what it was! kcl…can you please update us if they do this again?

    • Anonymous says:

      We’ll keep our eye out for it! Though it may only be available in some areas, so always scan your weekly ad for specials and promotions like that (that’s most likely be where it is advertised). 

  40. Anonymous says:

    I just wanted to point out that I noticed a couple months ago that Safeway was running a deal for WIC.  They had a B1G1 deal on all WIC items making your monthly allowance go farther.  If I remember correctly you had to buy the Safeway brand but you still get twice as much, so it’s good to pay attention to ads.  I don’t know if this is going to be a regular thing for them but if you use them keep your eye out!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s a great head’s up! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Just today I notice that this week they have that sale. B1G1 on Wic items. I don’t know if its regional, but at least here in So. Cal that promotion is going on.
      hope that helps…

    • How does that work? I have WIC, but I never use BOGO coupons or sales because I assumed that even though the second item would be free, it wouldn’t work, because they still have to ring it up, and WIC specifically states how many of an item you’re allowed to get… 

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t use WIC so I’m not sure, I would go to customer service and ask them.  I am assuming that the second item rings up free with your club card so then you don’t go over your price allowance.  I am sure they have worked it out to your advantage.  The whole idea is to get you into their store hoping you will buy more than your WIC items…the more you buy the more they make.  Use those savings to your advantage! :)

  41. Audra Karlinsey says:

    My family was on food stamps and wic while my husband was going to school. He could only work part-time and without food stamps/wic we would have starved. I always used coupons with food stamps but never thought of using them with wic. We no longer qualify because we were blessed to get a wonderful job offer after graduation. I am blessed to stay at home with my children. We now pay taxes and support the national and state federally funded programs. I miss the $540 a month in food stamps but I would much rather have a job and a house then live with family and get food stamps. Not everyone abuses the system. Some of us need it while we try to better our lives.

    • Jadda says:

      I agree, SOME do need it and thank GOODNESS it is available to them.  Then, there are those that go to school to better themselves and then after grauduation will only work a certain number of hours and won’t take a job that will disqualify them for their assistance program (I work at a college- and YES, this does happen frequently, at least in my area.) It’s sad because these programs aren’t designed to hold back young professionals, rather to help support their families up until the time they are hopefully able to support them on their own.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I’m a single mom who does get food stamps and love using my coupons to make them go further.  I found kcl about 6 months ago and can’t believe I did not start really using coupons to make such a big difference before now.  I also love being able to get items for free that I don’t use so I can donate them the local food pantry. 

    • Anonymous says:

      That is wonderful and I’m sure your kids are proud of such a hard working mother! We’re so glad we can help out :)

  43. Luca Bella says:

    It seems that remarks about welfare abuse are all too quick to be made, but all I can say is, be glad you don’t need it.  So many people angrily judge those on this type of program, but I am always glad I have an education, and don’t have children, and am not locked into this type of problem… I guess I’m too busy being grateful to resent someone who needs it.

    I too have gotten friends to use coupons with the debit card ebt, and the bonus is that it qualifies for all the Register Rewards/catalinas just like regular cash!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is true that many people are quick to condemn ANYONE who receives public assistance.  However, I believe that most people do not resent someone who TRULY needs it.  Rather, people tend to ‘angrily judge those on this type of program’ who are seen with $100 hairdos, $200 phones, excessive gold jewelry, BMW’s and that sort of thing.  As far as your not having any children…Woo! Hoo! :-)

    • Rose Deacon says:

       I get what you are saying but that is still stereo typing people. Not everyone on ebt has either been locked up or uneducated. I am not locked up and  I have a college degree but got laid off. With three kids I had to use EBT for a while, me and my husband just did not make enough. I did coupon though  while I was on EBT .. I can say it did save so much money. That 700.00 a month they allotted turned into more like 1400 dollars worth of groceries…Cashiers would actually ask though why are using coupons if you are on government money… When I pointed out to them I had carrots not pizzas and lettuce not chips they would just say, Most people don’t buy like that on EBT… I wanted my kids healthy. Thanks to the crazy coupon lady web site even now I still get more groceries than I did when using EBT.. People need to know it is o.k. to use coupons on Ebt to stretch that dollar and you usually end up with better food and brands…

  44. Anonymous says:

    What a great article to teach people how to USE the system instead of how to ABUSE it!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a real quote:

       “Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away.  You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances.”

    • No one teaches anyone how to abuse the system. It just comes naturally after years of being screwed over by those who implement the system. After all, when you’re constantly told, “Do what you gotta do, girl!” by those who have the power to make your life easier or harder on a whim, you learn pretty quickly not to care about them or their opinions, in the same way they don’t care about you and yours.

      • I once met a man who worked for the Medicaid office and he told me that they have to believe what ever the person tells you.  
        He also told me that he found out that there were churches teaching people how to get around the system and all the loop holes and what they needed to do to get all the services they can from the system.  I once saw a friend from high school and she told me that her two kids were on Medicaid and all she had to do was tell them that her and her husband were separated.  Her husband made more money than mine at the time.   

  45. Anonymous says:

    Interesting.