We're reader-supported and only partner with brands we trust. When you buy through links on our site we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date and time indicated and are subject to change.
If you’re a mom or trying to start your family on a low income, WIC might be a helpful resource to keep on your radar. WIC is a special government program that provides federal grants for low-income women, infants, and children under 5. The best part is that it’s not just a small, local benefit — it’s a nationwide program that serves about half of all infants born in the United States, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Plus, many stores nationally accept WIC, so it’s more accessible for families who need it.
But figuring out who’s eligible and what’s included can be confusing. We did a deep dive into the program to make it easier to understand, plus have some tips that can help stretch your benefits. Read on for a simplified guide to WIC, including if you can stack coupons with WIC, ways to save with WIC, and more.
Text DEALS to 57299 and be the first to know about the best money-saving deals each day.
The WIC program is a federal assistance program for women and children.
WIC is a federal assistance program in the United States that provides food, info on child nutrition, and healthcare referrals to low-income pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as to infants and children under the age of 5. The acronym WIC literally stands for Women, Infants, and Children.
The program helps participants have access to healthy foods and proper nutrition, which can improve their family’s health. But the program does more than just put food on the table. WIC also offers immunization referrals, breastfeeding support, and resources for new parents.
Related: Can I Use Coupons with Food Stamps?
You must meet a certain income requirement to be eligible for WIC.
If you’re pregnant, just had a baby, or have a child under 5 years old, and you meet the income guidelines, you might be eligible for WIC. Usually the income limit is based on how much money you make compared to the size of your family. It’s worth checking if you qualify using their pre-screening tool. If it looks like you may be eligible, then all you need to do to get benefits is apply and bring some proof of income and residency to your local WIC office.
Related: 24 Little-Known Ways to Save Serious Cash on Baby Stuff
Here’s how to make the most out of your WIC benefits.
1. Check which foods are covered.
Make sure you know what foods are covered and use your benefits to purchase those items. WIC provides a range of healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Be sure to take advantage of those options. You can find a full list on the USDA site.
2. Some stores let you stack coupons with your WIC vouchers.
When you’re shopping with WIC, you can use both store and manufacturer’s coupons to save more money on select items. The Krazy Coupon Lady staffers have successfully found that the cashier should accept all other promotions that are offered by the store or manufacturer, even with WIC.
3. You can take advantage of BOGO deals with WIC.
It’s not a well-known secret, but some grocery stores let you take advantage of BOGO deals with WIC. In states that offer true BOGO sales (like Florida), WIC will pay for the first item you purchase, and the second item will be given to you by the store for free as part of their promotion. This often works with cereal at Publix or Winn-Dixie. For instance, let’s say your WIC allows you to buy 36 ounces of cereal and the WIC-approved cereal is on a BOGO sale. This means you can actually get 72 ounces of the WIC-approved cereal instead of just 36 ounces.
4. WIC is for more than just food.
Take advantage of the healthcare services, vaccine resources, nutrition education, and counseling offered by WIC. These can provide valuable information on topics like healthy eating, vaccine schedules, breastfeeding, and child development.
5. Download the WIC shopping app to instantly find out whether or not an item is WIC-eligible.
It happens — grocery stores sometimes fail to properly label WIC-eligible items. But you can go to Google Play or the App Store to download your state’s WIC app for free. Simply scan the barcode of any product and the app will instantly tell you if the item is WIC-approved.
6. Some stores, like Target, offer gift cards when you buy a certain amount of formula or baby food, which you can still earn with WIC.
This will depend on your local Target, but we’ve seen Target stores offer $10 gift cards when you buy two Enfamil or Similac baby formula powders. Even if WIC covers some or all of the cost of the formula or baby food, you can still earn the gift card as long as you meet the store’s purchase requirements.
7. WIC Facebook groups are a great community resource for queries and hacks.
Seasoned WIC users can help you troubleshoot when couponing with WIC. There’s usually a WIC Facebook group for certain states or regions, which is great since WIC benefits can vary depending on where you live. You’ll often have to request to join these groups, but once admitted, you can look to other WIC families in your local area for support.
8. Stay in communication with your WIC office.
Make sure to attend your regular appointments and keep your contact info up to date. This will help ensure you continue to receive the benefits you need. Remember to update your income information and check in regularly with your local office. That way you know exactly where your benefits are and can make sure there are no lapses in coverage.