Can Coupons Be Used with Foods Stamps?

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food stamps and coupons

Stretch your dollar with coupons!

I was talking to a friend recently and she was asking me about using coupons. She asked me how much my monthly food budget was and I shared that with her and we discussed how I get to that amount and where I shopped. She then told me that many of the foster families she works with use coupons and she is always so amazed at how far they can stretch their dollar. It brought up an interesting topic of using coupons with food stamps so I thought this may be a helpful post for any of you out there wondering about this.

You CAN use coupons with food stamps. Just like with any budget, coupons can help you give more value to your food stamp dollar.  Food stamps function just like cash so you are entitled to the same benefits and savings of coupons, with a few nuances mentioned below. Please comment with any questions!

  • Instead of not spending money when using coupons with food stamps, you are actually keeping that money on your card. You still get the gain but it’s in a slightly different way. 
  • Think of your food stamp amount as your grocery budget- every dollar you can save from that is a dollar you will keep on your card to make your budget last longer!
  • Technically, coupons are a form of payment, not a discount, so you will still be paying tax when you use coupons if you are using manufacturer’s coupons. Since most EBT purchases are not supposed to be taxed, this throws a bit of a loop in things. You will want to have another form of payment to cover the taxes on the items where you use coupons. This doesn’t seem like it’s fair or should be this way but your net gain when using coupons and paying sales tax is still better than not using them but it would be up to you to decide what works with your budget and if it’s worthwhile to still use the coupons knowing this. 
  • BOGO coupons can be used with food stamps and literally double your benefit. You get two items for the cost of one to your allotment, which is a great savings!
  • Coupons will still be doubled, if you are shopping at a store that offers this promotion. 
  • Food stamps and coupons must be used on the items outlined within your benefits. Anything that your food stamps cover should be able to be combined with a coupon for savings. 

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