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Food Stamps: Surprising things you can buy with an EBT card and SNAP benefits

Millions of low income Americans receive food stamps every month to help purchase their family’s groceries.

grocery cart in an aisle filled with food stamp eligible foods

People are able to spend their benefits using an EBT card, which works like a debit card.

There are restrictions on what you can buy with these benefits.

You cannot purchase alcohol, hot food, paper plates, or household products.

There are some surprising things you can buy.


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Surprising items you can purchase with food stamps

You can buy packaged coffee and tea.

While you cannot buy hot beverages, you can buy what you need to make hot beverages.

You can buy ground coffee, coffee beans, K-cups, teabags, and creamer.

You can buy some energy drinks using your EBT card.


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This is because they’re considered food products by the manufacturer in some cases.

If the energy drink says “nutrition facts” and not “supplement facts” then you can buy it.

Red Bull and Monster can be purchased, but 5 Hour Energy cannot.

You can get seeds with food stamps.


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This makes it so you can grow your own produce and not spend your EBT card on it.

Gift baskets are eligible depending on contents.

At least 50% of the contents need to be edible.


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If the basket has alcohol it’s ineligible.

Cakes can be bought for the most part, as long as 50% of it is made of edible material.

A wedding cake is not eligible.

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