I have been asked is it is possible to use food stamps with coupons numerous times, with the way things are going it seems more people are turning to food stamps for help. I myself have used food stamps when I was a little girl and my mother needed some extra help for a small period of time, so I understand that they can really help families in a tough situation!
I feel that if you are on food stamps, you obviously need to save as much as you can! Using your food stamps with coupons can really help you stretch your food stamps even further.
How to use food stamps with coupons
I did some research, because I was not very familiar with using food stamps with coupons and what I found was many different views! Yes you can use your food stamps with your coupons and most state agencies encourage this as a way to stretch your food stamps from month to month.
The issue that I am running into is how it all breaks down at the cash register. I have read that you need to split up your transactions by spitting up your food items and non food items, because the computers are not smart enough to distinguish between food coupons and non food coupons and if you purchase them all together and then use coupons you will end up paying more out of pocket. Lets take a look an example:
Non-food items- $30.00
$12.00 in food coupons
$15.00 in non- coupon items
= $3.00 in food stamps(link card, EBT)
and $30.00 out of pocket for non foo items plus tax!
Now the theory for the above example is that the register will automatically deduct all of the coupons off of the food items, thus leaving a large out of pocket amount for the non food items.
Now lets see what happens when you split up the order!
$12.00 in food coupons
= $18.00 in food stamps(link card, EBT)
Non food items- $30.00
$15.00 in non food item coupons
= $15.00 cash out of pocket plus tax
So as you can see if this theroy is true you will end up paying less out of pocket, because you will get the value of non food coupons attached to your non food items and this is great if you are short on money, but you do have enough food stamps. When you look at it you are still spending the same amount of money $33.00, but if your tight on cash you want to go with option 2!
Now if that is not confusing enough lets talk about tax! Apparently some states charge tax on food and some also charge a tax on coupons! I know that where I live in Arizona there is no tax on food or coupon use that I have seen. If your state does have tax on food and/or coupons then you will need to pay that tax out of pocket as your food stamps will not cover that balance.
There are also a lot of articles I have read that state that you do not need to split up your orders, because the registers are indeed able to distinguish food and non food items!
Don’t be afraid to use your food stamps with coupons
In my opinion if I was using food stamps and coupons, I would just split up my transactions so there are no worries! Just remember to use your coupons first and use your food stamps just as you would use cash! I also encourage you not to be embarrassed to use coupons with your food stamps. I feel like a lot of people feel very apprehensive about using coupons with food stamps, because they will be ridiculed! I say to heck with everyone else! You are the one going home to your family at the end of the day and no one else is going to buy your groceries, so do whats right for your family and use your food stamps with coupons!
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