How to Combine Food Stamps and Coupons

Food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provide assistance to low-income households to get healthy, affordable food on family tables. Food stamp benefits are overseen by the state and often given out by a local agency. To qualify, your family must meet certain income eligibility requirements. For example, a family of four must have a net monthly income below $2,201 to qualify.

Food stamp dollars are added to an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card each month, which can be used just like a debit or credit card at stores that accept EBT. Most grocery stores, convenience stores and even farmer’s markets do. Any remaining monthly balance rollovers to the next month, so there is no pressure to spend everything each month.

Many individuals who receive food stamps wonder whether or not coupons can be combined with food stamps for a better deal. The simple answer? They sure can. Paying with food stamps is just like paying with cash or credit, so there are no restrictions on combining food stamp dollars with coupons.

Think of food stamps as your grocery budget. And what’s the greatest way to stretch a dollar and stay within budget? Coupons of course. Shopping around and using coupons to get the best deals will help stretch your food stamp benefits even further. Some people can get up to double the amount of food purchased within their budget by using coupons.

Finding good coupons is often the biggest battle. So, where do you start? Luckily, you’re in the right place at Coupon Connections. Here you’ll find real-time coupon deals organized by category and store as well as resources to get started couponing and take your coupon game to the next level. Other great coupon sources are your local paper, in-store at your favorite market and on the website of our favorite brands of food.

Although combining food stamps with coupons is quite easy to do, there are a couple strange things to be aware of. First, if you use manufacturers’ coupons (versus coupons found in-store), you may be required to pay tax on the coupon amount. That’s because the store needs to collect tax on the sale since the manufacturer is only covering the value printed on the coupon, which doesn’t include tax. In other words, bring along some a bit of change to cover sales tax and you will be all set. The money saved with these coupons will easily make up for the small portion you’ll pay out of pocket in cash.

Another point to be aware of when incorporating coupons into your shopping trip is that not all deals are created equal. Remember, coupons are created to increase sales, not just save you money. Compare the coupon price to other options, including store brands, to ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.

Not only is couponing with food stamps allowed, it’s actually encouraged by the SNAP program. A little bit of clipping, or these days printing, can go a long way in stretching your food stamp dollars. To learn more about the SNAP program and see if you may qualify for food stamps, go here.