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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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question from our reader, how to use food stamps and coupons

I have had a few questions about how using food stamps work with coupons. While I’m not an expert in this area, I know that coupons should work great with food stamps. I have friends that have left over food stamps at the end of the month because they have stretched their savings with coupons.

Sadly though, things don’t always work so well.

A recent e-mail I got asked a question about eCoupons and Catalina Deals:

“If you have any E-coupons or a store/manufacturer promotion that gives an amount off when you purchase a certain amount of items.  For example, Bi-lo was running the Kraft promo that gives you $6 off instantly wyb 10 items.  I also had a P&G catalina for $1.00 off.  At the end of the transaction, the total amount charged to my EBT card was $7 more than my actual total and the cashier handed my $7.00 back.

At Harris Teeter today, I had $1.40 in e-coupons which resulted in the change due back to me.  However, the manager refused to give it to me.  So now, my $1.40 in savings is still sitting in the cashiers drawer, my EBT card was charged $1.40 more than it should be & I lost $1.40 in e-coupons that I can not get back.”

So what are your thoughts on this? Have you ran into any issues using store promotions, coupons, e-coupons and food stamps? What is your experience with couponing and using food stamps?

    • they do help alot…

    • Hickey_jenny

      I am not sure how true this is but I have a friend who is on foodstamps and in the state of Al she says you cannot us coupons and foodstamps or you will pay taxes on what you buy with coupons.  Using food stamps on food is tax free.

      • Guest

        I live in Alabama and I use coupons with food stamps all the time and I have no problem.

      • Beth Anne

        You do pay taxes on the amount that you do not pay with your EBT card.  So, if you used $10 in coupons, I guess you would pay $1.  Same if you paid $10 with cash or another debit card.  Still, there is that savings there.  

        In the long run, though, I think coupons would be encouraged when using the EBT card.  If you go to the government website about using food stamps there are all kinds of tips on how to eat healthful meals while using food stamps and how to be more frugal. 

        The computers (programmers?) may have a hard time dealing with certain kinds of coupons and discount cards, in conjunction with the EBT card, but I bet that regular internet and newspaper coupons work fine– just like any other type of tender.

        I say stretch that benefit dollar as far as you can.  Don’t try anything shady and I probably wouldn’t try any complex coupon deals.  Whatever is left at the end of the month on your EBT is there for next month, just like any other grocery budget.  

        My 2 cents.  :)

        • Rachelle857

          I am an avid couponer and I have never had to pay tax after buying food using, foodstamps and using coupons. Food is tax free, and all food including soda is tax free when u use Ur foodstamps

          • We did pay tax on coupons while on food stamps and we were so broke at the time it wasn’t worth it to use the coupons so we just bought super cheap items to make the money go further.

          • Sundaydrive00

            I think it depends on which state you live in. When I lived in NC coupon values were still taxed. So if I bought a $5 item and used a $5 coupon, I would still pay tax on that $5. Which was always weird when looking at receipts. I’d have sometimes where my bill was $3 but then I had an additional $4 in tax!  Since the coupon doesn’t register as a food item, the tax on any coupon used had to come from some other form of payment other than ebt. I worked as a cashier for a while, and would always here complaints from people who didn’t realize this when using their ebt. They would be so confused when their food purchase required extra money not covered by their card.

             I now live in MO, and coupons aren’t taxed here. So if I buy a $5 product and have a $5 coupon I am taxed on $0. I would assume that on ebt here there would be no extra tax to pay either.

          • Sundaydrive00

            I think it depends on which state you live in. When I lived in NC coupon values were still taxed. So if I bought a $5 item and used a $5 coupon, I would still pay tax on that $5. Which was always weird when looking at receipts. I’d have sometimes where my bill was $3 but then I had an additional $4 in tax!  Since the coupon doesn’t register as a food item, the tax on any coupon used had to come from some other form of payment other than ebt. I worked as a cashier for a while, and would always here complaints from people who didn’t realize this when using their ebt. They would be so confused when their food purchase required extra money not covered by their card.

             I now live in MO, and coupons aren’t taxed here. So if I buy a $5 product and have a $5 coupon I am taxed on $0. I would assume that on ebt here there would be no extra tax to pay either.

            • JeffVL

               I guess that’s true. If you live in a state of confusion, you might pay $4 tax on a $3 bill…depending on which “recipe” you’re using…definitely don’t want to pay taxes in your “state”.

            • Sundaydrive00

              What are you going on about?  I wasn’t confused about anything, that is just how it was set up in North Carolina. You would pay taxes on the amount purchased before coupons, not after like how it is in Missouri.

              Maybe you should learn to be less rude about things you do not understand.

    • K A

      You have to be careful with ebt. They are not allowed to give cash back, ever. I’m surprised that they did. You can coupon and get great deals to combine with your food benefits but if you should be getting any amount of cash back to use cash. (this is what I have learned). Walmart has it stated in their policy that they can not issue any overage if you’re using fs but it really does apply to every store because it is the “rule” for fs.

    • SaritaZ

      I go through these same problems all the time. I try to never use my ebt card when i have only coupons. That way the total saved can go towards non food items. Its tricky. I wish that these grocery stores would fix this problem because its not like we are trying to make money off of them by using our card just because they give us cash back. Its just the way the system works right now. Food lion doesnt give me a problem if it prompts to give cash but i do hate that it happens. I wish that the food e-coupons would be excepted as a food coupon if it is a food coupon just like any paper coupon. That way this issue would not exist. I am so happy that some one brought this up. I thought I was the only one. Some times I just do separate transactions to avoid the problem. I also have the issue that just because I used coupons and my food stamp card, the store like Kroger, CVS, Rite Aid, will charge me tax when they are not supposed to.

    • Brittany

      In my experience working retail, when a customer scans a coupon and then pays with EBT (food stamps), it charges them tax on the coupon. So they have to pay that out of pocket. Which most of them aren’t prepared for. That’s the only thing I’ve run into.

    • Miadesta

      You should be able to use coupons and if the store is not giving you credit for what is clearly due you need to contact your social worker. It doesn’t matter how you are paying for your groceries. You are still paying for your items and you are making your food stamp dollar stretch farther.  I’m not on food stamps but I am on WIC and I know they really appreciate when I use couons because it allows others to get WIC as well.
       
       

    • I think that this is really up to the discretion of the store. But, if HT short changed her, then I’d certainly contact corporate about it. 

      Generally, the only difference in using EBT is that the tax on food should not apply. I suppose this could present a problem if the computer system requires tax be paid on pre-coupon prices…..some stores may require the tax to be paid?

    • Csrcjoasr

      I used a food stamp card a few years ago and had similar issues. The cashiers often tried to charge me the change due back to me because of the coupons. I ended up using my check card to “pay” the credit due to me – it was just easier that way. Not sure about your catalina issue, but at least they paid the change back to you that was owed to you.

    • Ziquan7

      well i have not ran into this problem, but i always check to make sure i get my savings before i pay.  I do know that we pay tax on the coupons amount because food stamps don’t pay taxes. 

    • Jds

      I have foodstamps and i use coupons almost everytime i go to the store. it helps your money last longer and there is no reason not to use them if it helps stretch your dollar even if it is from foodstamps.i know my foodstamps doesnt always last all month long with my family of 3 but wheni use coupons it usually helps to get till about the last week and get everything we NEED and WANT!

    • Hhbeverly

      I would politely approach the store manager at Harris Teeter, explain the problem.  Be sure and explain that you are trying to be a good steward of these funds.  Then tell him that until this problem is resoled, you will have no choice but to shop exclusively at Bi-Lo.   

    • ACW

      The cash-back deals sometimes do result in the card being charged the full amount and cash being handed to the customer, even though this goes against the spirit of the EBT program. No experience with digital coupons, here, but newspaper coupons and internet printables work just fine with Food Stamps. Here in NC, caseworkers actually encourage recipients to coupon to get more out of their monthly benefits… and, yes, couponing can stretch the allocation so that you have leftover benefits that roll to the next month.

    • Wendy

      The $1.40 should have been credited back to your ebt card , so should have the $7 

    • Nccouponmom

      I don’t know how it works, but I’ve had all of those things happen also….money handed back and money not handed back. I’ve tried to figure it out and like you it baffles me too. It was always nice when it did happen.

    • Christy

      I’ve always been given the money back in these situations, Harris Teeter included.  If change is due, they are required to give you that change b/c your EBT card has been overcharged.  I have never had them not return the change.  Harris Teeter is where I primarily do my couponing, so I don’t have experience with different stores, but my experience with EBT is it is just like any other form of money when paying.  I use my coupons just as I would if I were paying in cash, and sometimes I am shocked in the end when I don’t even have to pay for the items that are not covered by EBT.  I guess it equals out in the savings from coupons and any e-vic specials I qualify for.  So final answer, yes they owe you that $1.40, and use your EBT/coupons just as you would with cash/credit/debit.

    • suzie

      Id dispute it with the manager. AND get the coupon back. I know first hand that you ARE allowed AND able to use coupons with your EBT Food Stamp card. What happened to that person was wrong. If the store that this happened in was/is a major chain….(granted a $1.40 coupon but its the principle behind it) Id call in and complain. I had an issue at a Kroger once with an internet coupon I wanted to use on a sale item and they wouldnt let me. And after asking why (they just didnt feel like doing it basically) I aske for, took the coupon back as I stated that I really didnt need the item OR any of the other items I was buying and started to have them cancel my orde. They caved and gave me the coupon $ off. THey apparently didnt want to lose the business. Customer Service is starting to fly out the door of these retailers and its not right. Go somewhere else.

    • Tennhunter

      The only thing I have ever noticed is you need to do 2 different transactions with your food and non food when using coupons. Because if you let the register just give you the balance after you pay with food stamps for your nonfood and you use qs for some of the nonfood items the qs come of of the foodstamp total and you pay full price for the nonfood items

    • BlessedSmith

      I don’t have any specifics on this but I would think you would have to check each state’s rules to know what is the rules are regarding coupons etc. 

    • Ksmitche

      I have used coupons and food stamps in North Carolina and never had a problem. You could start with calling DSS and finding out if there is something you did wrong or how to do it exactly.

    • Djrdonna5

      I use coupons when I shop for my brother. I have had money refunded and I have had it kept. i guess it depends on the cashier/store.

    • Crystal

      I have never had any problems using my ebt card and coupons. I always have money left over at the end of the month. I would suggest calling the customer service number on the back of your card and asking them exactly how it works and see if they can fax a copy of whatever they say to you.

    • Jen

      In my experience with using them and couponing.Bi-lo has never made me pay a tax on the coupons.Publix does…No,you can’t get money back.But,never,I mean never purchase non food with food if your using ebt in Publix.They’re system can not tell the difference resulting in a overcharge.I even had my ordered re did and they found they over charged me by 40.00 because of the system.Still love them though = ) I try to stretch my food stamps and get the best benefits from them for my family. 

      • Rachelle857

        I had the same issue… At Publix all of my non food coupons went toward my food price as soon as I slid my ebt card. I had only planned on paying about 10 dollars out of my pocket and when she said 30, I was like what! I was very angry! Then the manager threw a giddy fit when she had to do a refund and do it over agian. Just because I have food stamps doesn’t make me ne worse of a person, the ammount they give me in foodstamps doesn’t cover my familys monthly eating, so I use coupons and deals, to stretch the money out longer to feed my family!

      • JeffVL

         Overcharged you by $40.00??
        Sounds a little…no….magnanamously unbelieveable.
        Were you buying for the 6th Fleet or what?
        So far out of over 200 posts I’ve read, only 3 people have had correct and pertinent data to impart (leaving out the whiners and complainers of ebt/wic/fs users). or was it like Rachelle857 below that non-food coupons go towards food items and was mis-charged … not overcharged.

    • ACW

      …also, while cashiers often don’t have the ability to adjust amounts charged to an EBT card, I know that customer service can. If you’re overcharged for an item, take the receipt to the service desk and they have the ability to refund the amount back to the EBT card.

    • Aprilsinclair355

      Publix will make you pay tax on any coupons used with or without food stamps. Food stamps now covers cafe, deli and bakery items at Publix. Bi-Lo and Walmart dont make you pay the tax and they give you back overage. Rite-aid, Walgreens and CVS take EBT and coupons and give back overage as well. You get even more savings when you use EBT because you dont have to pay tax on food items.

    • I know that when I do my grocery shopping, I try to buy non-food items that I have cash for when I use my food stamps and coupons. The coupons, as far as I can tell, are like cash, meaning that I get the amount off the food item for food stamps and the value of the coupons sometimes comes off my non-food prices as well. I haven’t figured it out completely yet, but it is def nice to have that savings. I don’t know anything about paying taxes on your coupons like another poster put here.

    • Dpmcbay

      I know someone that  does use foodstamps and coupons to the EXTREME.  She can take her monthly foodstamps and almost double her money.  She has a freezer that is always full, she freezes everything, things I never thought to freeze  and her pantry is overflowing.  BUT she puts in HOURS doing her homework and she will NOT buy unless on sale.  On other stuff, she has more toothpaste than me and she pays “0” for it…laundry detergent no more than $1..free razors and the list goes on.  Thank you Southernsavers for teaching her!!!!

    • Ljbtrfly

      I use food stamps here in NC and on the rare occasion I do get cash back. It is usually when I am only buying food and must have overage on the items. For example I went and tripled at H.T. and ended up getting $0.58 back, the drawer will come out even because they charged the card. It must have something to do wth the way the system is set up. And nto ready to accomidate e-coupons because they are a reelatively “new” thing to some stores. From my expereince the majority of EBT useres don’t use coupons. I do because I coupon even if I didn’t have EBT. I get catalinas but I don’t get my fuelperks when I use ebt at Bi-lo.

      • you should check into why your not getting your fuel perks. are you using the new bi-lo card and buyinmg the items to get fuel perks. i had saved $1.00 per gallon using my ebt.

      • Lacey

        Yes you should still be getting your fuel perks. Form of payment shouldn’t matter!

    • Gina H

      I thought that coupons on EBT worked the same as on WIC. When I was on WIC, I asked them about using coupons and the lady in the WIC office actually encouraged it because it saves the state money. I would like to think the same applies for EBT. For one, it makes their EBT lasst longer.

    • I use EBT and WIC to and always use coupons for both! I have had problems to. I just called corporate for Food Lion not taking coupons on WIC and spoke with WIC about this the next time. I even showed the lady were it says on my WIC folder to try to save by using coupons but she was just rude. I went to food lion the women apolozied and said she didnt know she could take them. I told her maybe  stores need to retrain employees on their policies since alot of them dont no. I also started having problems with CVS and Rite aid charging me tax when there shouldnt be any because I use coupons they say. Im planning on calling corporate on that too.

    • Bigtandgirls

      When you spend ebt and coupons on food your coupon is like cash so that why it will go to the other item that are not food or you get cash back

    • Yoda

      It is illegal to give cash back for food stamp purchases.  The store should either give a CAT for food items only or the shopper should be sure they are not going in the negative with their savings.  Most stores will not give change for coupopns, anyway.  I believe the responsibility to follow the rules falls on the shopper.

    • D_neesew

      I’ve worked as a manager in a grocery store. Yes coupons can be used with food stamps! However in some states you have to pay the taxes on the coupons not the grocery total. So to maximize the amount of food stamps you have left coupons are encouraged.

    • Laura

      At our store if someone with EBT uses a coupon it generally charges them a penny per coupon. Some people get upset and say other stores don’t charge but our does and there’s nothing I can do about that. However I know of one coupon that people were using on chicken that automatically gave that money back and people were surprised. If someone were to refund something that they used their EBT card on, we have to put that back on their card. 

    • Fireangel0613

      I have never had a problem with using my EBT card and coupons. Occationaly I do get $1 or 2 back from Winn dixie. You must separate your non food items and coupons and do a seperate transaction because coupons usually come off the total bill and not spicific items purchased (the computers dont match coupon to item they take the coupon amount off and its up to the cashier to check the items) I have always been encouraged to use coupons and never (except at walgreens) been given any problems when using them ethicly and for the correct items. Remember YOU ARE NOT SCAMING ANYONE the item you purchase are being paid for. Dont let anyone make you feel other wis

    • Denial1

      I use Kroger and their promotions like buy 10 get $5 off comes off each item so then I just pay using my FS. Now if i use a coupons you do pay tax so their is like sometimes I pay like 2 cent cause I have used a coupons.

    • carroll

      I use coupons and such with my ebt card . I havent had any probs with it . I only had a few times where they said I had change back using my card . Never more than a dollar. I tell the cashier to keep it for someone that might not have enough change to pay for there stuff . It wouldnt be rt for me to take money for my ebt card . They should have it where u cant get an overage just like with coupons at some stores

    • Allthingscoupons

      Harris Teeter’s policy is no cash back on EBT whatsoever. Company policy. If anyone has ever gotten money back on EBT then count it as your lucky day.

      • Grocerys4us

         Have you thought about the fact that, at the end of the day, Harris Teeter runs that coupon through and profits from it? They should adjust the EBT account manually and give the person the savings from it.

      • Phcbup

        The Harris Teeters that I shop in NC don’t give cash back period regardless of the form of payment the best scenario is a $0 balance as they adjust coupons to match the price of the product (no overages)>

    • Mfts21

      In south carolina you can use coupons with foodstamps and ecoupons work too. The only thing that is a issue is when you have non food items and their coupons don’t work the cashier manually enters the coupons but under grocery code in their system. So the non food items coupons go toward the food instead of the non food price that you pay at the end. Because of this I still seperate food and non food items. People should go to their county’s website and they do list rules for foodstamps which does include coupons. But at the end of the day it is up to the store policy with coupons so she may need to inquire to higher levels in the store. This sounds like discrimation against foodstamp users and I’m sure the higher levels won’t like the sound of that. Some people are not aware but particular stores their highest revenue is from foodstamp users.

      • JR

        I’ve heard at checkouts in SC, EBT customers complaining about having to pay a little bit of change to the cashier in cash after having used coupons on only food items and swiping their cards.  They’ve said that it’s illegal to collect some manner of calculated cash difference because of the coupons.  Any truth to this?

    • Always_3xa_lady

      i am on ebt and use to be on wic…i never used q on wic because that was long ago and i wasnt a couponer then. but i have been using coupons with ebt for YEARS. i have gotten money back in cash. if the cashier wont give me the cash i say ok and go to customer service. let them politely know i had money coming back and was not given the money so it needs to be put back on my ebt card otherwise its stealing. never had a problam presenting the problem that way. i havent figured out what gives you cashback but in alot of my situtations i have found that the meat with store coupons will sometimes do it and sometimes wont.

      • Penny Pincher

        I have been told by the manager of my local Bi-Lo when they over charged my ebt that it was not my funds anyway. I felt I was being treated differently just because they type of payment used. They would not have over charged my debit card so why should it be allowed on ebt funds? 
        I also don’t know what triggers the cash back issue but I try to make sure I am purchasing an item that ebt won’t cover and thus puts the “extra” funds towards that item so they don’t steal from me. Which is exactly what it is!!

        • If they say that, they are committing fraud and should be reported to the local foodstamp office.  The company is overcharging the foodstamps and  needs to be reported.

    • Gnvadva Rr

      From Florida. I always separate my non food items with the food items, because the value of the coupon ( non food items) goes towards the food items that you dont have coupons for. Ex Covergirl has 8./2  I bought 4 for 2.99 each,  and the rest was food. I should have overage but instead i paid the value of the coupon+tax. when I used my food stamp. Always separate the your food  and non food items.

    • Linda

      It has been my experience that some stores do not give the cash back.  I have had to purchase a small item so as to not loose the left over cash.  A candy bar worked for me one time. but it was only a small overage.

      One other thing, depending on where you live you may be required to pay the tax amount on the coupon.  I always try to keep some coins with me just for this.

    • Sillmom2three

      Our state (TN) charges tax on coupons. I have had cashiers say to me, you think they would want you to use coupons and instead of punishing you for it. I have EBT and a very small limited budget of cash. I save my pennies for the tax on coupons. The most I have paid is $2.. I have found if something is FREE do not USE your ebt card for other items. I ring up free stuff first in a seperate order. CVS still gives you ECB’s if you use yourfood stamp card, however you don’t qualify for gift cards if you use EBT to purchase gift card items. Target still gives you back the gift card too if you use EBT. I use those gift cards to buy toliet paper, soap, and my son’s depends

      • jennaj81

        I’m in GA and have used EBT to purchase Gift Card items at CVS. Maybe each area or store is different.

    •  I do the same…I’m in SC. My
      husband and end-stage renal disease- basically, his kidneys failed
      about 3 years ago. I’m going back to school after being a SAHM for the
      last 12 years to get my degree so that we can work on a transplant for
      him and so that we can go back to have an income that isn’t disability.
      But, until that happens, my family of 5 receives $350 a month- not
      enough to survive on and our disability income isn’t enough to survive
      on either. So, I have learned coupons out of necessity. I find Publix
      works fine, but Bilo sometimes I owe like 20 cents and sometimes my food
      stamp balance is weird. Like before I swipe my ebt card it will be
      84.20 but after it will be 87.77. We don’t have sales tax on food, so
      I’m not exactly sure what causes that. One HUGE tip is to seperate your
      non-food (non-ebt) items from your food items. It makes it easier to
      figure out when something has gone wrong. HTH!

    • annie

      I know at Rite-Aid food coupons come off non-food total, so I would be paying full price for food and recieve discounts on the non-food total.  Got a box of diapers for free by using enough food coupons to cover the diaper expense. 

      This is a problem at corporate!  If you have more food coupons than non-food
      products, you should recieve money back or change the amount being charged to ebt.

      At Kroger, often the amount that is doubled on a non-food item may go towards food purchase, so that you would be paying more than should be for a non-food item.

      At Walmart, I have had my coupons for food items go towards price of non-food items.

    • Katy Nelson

      Also I have a huge stockpile of food and non food items. I try to make them go as far as I can.I have a child with food allergies and her food isn’t cheap. Our farmers market also gives an 50% discount if you use ebt and I LOVE THAT

      • guest

         If you don’t mind my asking, which farmers market do you go to?

    • Penny Pincher

      I have had some issues like the ones noted above. I found it ridiculous that the stores over charge the ebt card and still keep the funds that have been overcharges. Bi-Lo does this to me all the time so I make sure I purchase other items in my transactions that food stamps does not cover like toilet paper or dish detergent to allow for any “overages” from coupons that the store won’t give back to me but charges my card for. 

    • Britton WIlliams

      I dont know how helpful this will be, and how much has already been posted before. I am new at using websites to help me coupon, but I have done it on my own with papers and online coupons for a while. But I work at Kroger and I run into this all the time. Our policy is that EBT will work for the food ,but you have to pay tax on the coupons. Say you have $100 worth of food and $10 worth of coupons. EBT will pay for the $90 food, but you still have to pay .70 in tax for the coupons. (I have noticed though that some store coupons (catalinas etc) do not make EBT customers pay tax, but I am not sure of why or how) I try to explain it to people this way, using a coupon is the same as paying for it yourself. Our machines automatically deduct the tax on food stuffs when you use EBT, but technically YOU are paying for the $10 coupons whether it is in paper money or paper coupons. I don’t know helpful this is for any of you, but thought I would share my expertise :) Good Luck!

    • Terrielynn26

      I too have run into this issue at a grocery store & I have insisted on returning & re-ring the entire order.. usually the manager will cave & give in just to avoid having to re-ring the entire order.. If you use coupons to “strtch your food stamps than that should be exactly what they are, not profit for the store.

    • Nutcrazy123075

      in florida u can use both coupons and food stamps and you end up being able to buy 3 times the amt of food than without. or just let the money carry over

    • happymama22

      I hate to say this but really you are getting food for free so just be happy with that. Us couponers have to pay for our food and rely on our coupons. So if you have to pay a few cents for tax then do it and be glad you are able to get food for free!!

      • Jcislife

         actually tax payers pay for food stamps, so if everyone that used food stamps would also use coupons, we could actually have $ in the welfare system for better after school activities and more free lunches in schools (among many other things). that comment was both insensitive and uninformed. 

        • just because a couponer uses coupons with foodstamps does not mean that there will be more in the system, that just means that we that use FS and use Q’s will have a bit more to stretch out.

      • Alli

        I don’t use EBT but “us couponers” does include people who do use EBT. Furthermore, most of “us couponers” work hard to save “a few cents” because it adds up. Kudos to those who do use EBT and care enough to make it stretch as far as possible. Afterall, that is really what we are all doing here…

      • mogirl

        Not a nice response Happy?? Everyone is trying to save foodstamps or not. Coupons dont say redeem only with cash and not foodstamps. Dont be a sourpuss!

      • Kiakids3

        Oh wow you really hated to say that. Just to let you know that a great majority of people that get food stamp don’t get them for free. As a Matter of fact no one I know nor myself have ever gotten them for free. We work full time jobs like most families. We just don’t make enough to feed our families properly. Or we have kids or spouses that have major medical issues. Like a child whose medical bills are more than we make all year long even with insurance.We also pay taxes so that is not gettIng them for free. Try to be sensitive to others situation and answer the question asked.

        • happymama22

          No argument here and I see where you are coming from and did not mean to cause an up roar. I never said anything was wrong with people getting help and would never want anyone to go hungry! That was not my point my point is these days people will complain about anything and just thought I could share my out look as well. God Bless you all!!

    • Heather M

      I’m in FL and I have noticed that you have to separate your non food and food items into different transactions.  If you mix them together, any coupons you have for non food items automatically takes off of your food total, leaving you paying more cash out of pocket than you were suppose too.  I just try to make sure to separate them and I haven’t had any problems since!  HTH!

    • could this be caused by using ecoupons with a store and manufacturer coupons. just wondering i try to stack them the best i can.

    • Mcleodsc

      Shocked by the comments below. Apparently those that get food stamps are definately being discriminated against! That is like “kicking someone when they are down”!!! The stores and  managers should be ashamed of themselves and need to get off their behinds and fix the problem! 

    • Mjsbassett

      I think the problem here is that the store would be giving you cash for your food stamp credits.  The problems here are endless.  EBT is only for certain food purchases, if they give you cash you could use it for alcohol, drugs, etc.  You have x amount of dollars for buying food.  Your coupons stretch that, so instead of $20 of food, you can purchase $25 of food (or whatever the numbers are).  Good for you, you stretched your food budget.  To get cash and buy other things with the money given to you to buy food, is dishonest.  Its like abusing coupons.  Sure, you could copy a coupon, the store might even take it.  But its still stealing.   

      • Lshafer30

        If someone uses foodstamps with coupons and there is money owed back, they should get it just like the ones using $ with coupons.

        • Mjsbassett

          Yes, back on the card- not as cash.  That money still has the same stipulations it originally had. 

    • happymama22

      I hate to say this but really you are getting food for free so just be happy with that. Us couponers have to pay for our food and rely on our coupons. So if you have to pay a few cents for tax then do it and be glad you are able to get food for free!!

      • Sara

         Those of us with EBT have to use coupons, too. Just because we’re “getting it for free” doesn’t mean that food prices don’t effect us. When you have a very strict budget for food each month you learn how to stretch that dollar so that you don’t run out of food by month’s end. It happens unless you know how to coupon. And in case there’s a ‘lazy’ argument coming up, I’m a full-time student at an Ivy League university (on a full scholarship), have a part-time job, and I also take care of my elderly grandmother. The bit of food stamps I get makes a difference in going with or without food.

        • happymama22

          No argument here and I see where you are coming from and did not mean to cause an up roar. I never said anything was wrong with people getting help and would never want anyone to go hungry! That was not my point my point is these days people will complain about anything and just thought I could share my out look as well.
          God Bless you all!!

      • SaritaZ

        If some one qualifies for food stamps then well they qualify. If the rule is you dont have to pay tax on food on food stamps then all we are saying is that rule’s should be fallowed because all this tax that is not supposed to be paid that is being paid does add up. I never ask why Im having to pay for example .14 cent because for me I just dont want to go through the hassle. But lets say all i had was my card and nothing on me because pay day is tomorrow. We’ll, rules should be fallowed. 

    • Each state varies on how coupons and EBT are combined.  I didn’t see where the original poster was from.

      We’ve finally gotten the issues straightened out in Missouri.  I’ve taught personal finance workshops (including couponing) for six years and in the beginning there were many issues when using coupons with food stamps.  In Missouri, there is no sales tax charged on the value of a coupon.  If you buy $25 worth of items and use $13 in coupons, you’ll pay sales tax on the remaining $12.  EBT users were being charged sales tax on the full $25.  It was so bad that they were having to ring food and non-food items up separately.  Whenever they swiped the EBT card, they were charged full sales tax on EVERY coupon, if they paid cash for those items not covered, they weren’t.

      It took a team of dedicated people working with the Secretary of State’s office to get it all lined out.  Thankfully, everything is fine now.  I’ve not heard of a catalina or ecoupon ringing up like that in MO.  A simple call to the Secretary of State’s office might get the ball rolling to fix these issues.

    • Lshafer30

      you really should be deleted off here. These people are asking for help, not people like you putting them down.  I’m guessing you don’t keep up with statistics, but now there are alot of working families on fs. If you are only on here to be negative, go away.

    • Jtdjagos

      I do not use food stamps but have worked with people who do to teach them couponing. It is very important to seperate food and non food transactions.  Also, for those of you struggling to the point of not being able to cover the tax, some stores like Bilo will credit you 5 cents for each bag you bring from home. This can help to cover some of the tax.

    • Amy

      How do you know they dont work? Just because they needed help doesnt mean anything. Just shut up and mind your own business. Someone may have been laid off and cant find a job right now!

    • MarJ

      Not everyone that has food stamps are “muching” (which you didn’t spell correctly) (MOOCHING) off the system.  I am a home healthcare nurse and I know plenty of seniors who are living on very small social security checks each month and are hardly getting by.  If it wasn’t for food stamps then they would go hungry every month.  How can you be so heartless.  Just remember that what goes around WILL come back around.  You never know when you might find yourself in a situation where food stamps look pretty damn good to you.  Chew on that!

    • Mustangof5

      I agree that ebt uses should not get cash back but thier ebt card should be refunded, which is very easy to do but most store managers take the easy route and refund cash. I am a mom of 7 I have 4 kids from my first marriage and 2 with my husband now plus we have custody of his son. We would need to make over $5,000 a month to not qualify for snap or food stamps. I have worked since i was 16 so I have paid just as much as anyone else. Oh did I mention I have been a full time student for 3 years now while I have not worked. When all of my children are in school I will return to work but right now my husband works 40 + hours to provide  for our family and I coupon to help  stretch our money whether ebt or cash as far as I can. I would never knock anyone who is getting assistance because one you do not know thier ssituation and two atleast with foodstamps we know thier child/children are not going hungry.

    • Lily

      It isn’t always people just mooching. You don’t get any thanks, many people on ebt have jobs and pay taxes just like you, so they certainly deserve help if they are in need of it. What about students trying to better their lives and pay for their living expenses while keeping up with school costs? School can take years. You don’t know the situations that people are in. Get over yourself.

    • Carolyn

      Amen !!!!

    • happymama22

      No argument here and I see where you are coming from and did not mean to cause an up roar. I never said anything was wrong with people getting help and would never want anyone to go hungry! That was not my point my point is these days people will complain about anything and just thought I could share my out look as well. God Bless you all!!

    • Shc6855

      I do not know the policies on Food Stamps, what I do know is that there are people who abuse the system (not saying everyone) but if those people who are abusing the system found out they can get money back if they coupon, its going to be bad, for everyone using coupons.  In my town there are already problems with papers being stolen, it can only get worse.  I am not saying that everyone is like this, and for those of you who need EBT and coupon to make it go farther good for you! But if the lady in front of me at Walmart who bought candy bars and soda for her pantless toddler with her EBT card and got cash back that money would not be used as intended to be!

    • MamaBiskuit

      I can sort of see why you’re upset, but I’m one of the ones who worked for many years “earning my own way” before losing my job.  After having to make the choice of either buying milk and breakfast foods for my children to have before school or buying gas to go to a part-time job, I decided to apply for assistance so I could do both.  I’m very thankful for the help, but using coupons helps to stretch that assistance, and there’s certainly not anything wrong with that.  Hopefully that won’t ever happen to you, but it does happen to good people who have worked hard for many years.  Don’t be so hard on folks … you might be in the same situation one day. 

      • Guests

        amen to that

      • happymama22

        You are the kind of people that the food stamps should go too! We as americans would never want our people to go with out ever!! I would help anyone one I can if they needed something, It is the people that have Iphones , their nails are done and drive suvs but there kids lunches are free and are on food stamps?? Something is wrong with that !!

        • Jenny

          I agree !!! You are so right.

        • That doesnt make sense. Why do u need the help when you drive an expensive car, Ipads and Iphones?? I think the system is wrong sometimes. There are ppl out there that rides the system even when they dont really need it; its just pure selfishness!!

    • From what I know from friends who work at DSS in Medicaid/Food stamps. the store is not allowed to give cash back; it should be refunded back onto card. If the amount is a few change, most of them do give cash back but they are not supposed to. I believe if you have Food stamps, using coupons can make the benefits go further at the end of the month.

    • Whatabunch5

      I learned the hard way to seperate all non food items and food items!  If you don’t, they will take off the non food items coupons from the food purchase and so then your out of pocket expense will be more and not the actual.  When I go to check out, I just let them know that I am checking out seperately my food items and non food items because I am using EBT.  Some may tell you that you can put it all together and it seperates it for you but I let them know that when using coupons it doesn’t work out like it should.  I have never had an issue doing that.  They have all understood.  You do have to pay very close attention just like anyone else to make sure that it comes out correctly. 

      • Jessica117

        You are exactly correct. I learned the hard way too when I tried to purchase toothpaste and food together with coupons. The toothpaste was supposed to be free after coupons, but like you said it reverses those coupons making your out of pocket really high. I get food stamps and am able to feed my 4 kids using coupons and am able to make those dollars stretch till the end of the month.

      • SaritaZ

        That is exactly what I do. The cashiers tell me the same thing and I just do it seperate anyways. 

    • Audley79

       We work very hard in my household but still get EBT $80 a month.  It is not much at all, but getting even a dollar of it taken is a big deal.  Couponers understand that every dollar counts, and when you are trying to feed a family with children it is a big deal.  We are not moochers, we might even work harder than you.  Dont judge, some day you might need some help, and you wouldnt want people to judge you either.

    • Guest

      Thanks for this discussion/info. I am planning to teach a coupon class for part  of a life-skills course for women, many of whom will be on EBT.  I think my best bet is to go to the various stores and ask the managers the best way to use coupons and EBT in their specific store. 

      • Mustangof5

        Just so you know i use ebt and coupons all the time and never have  a problem. my only suggestion is to inform them to seperate thier cash orders from thier ebt order just to make it easier on themselves as well as the cashier.

    • P Darley

      We finally had to admit defeat and apply for food stamps a year after my husband was wrongfully terminated from his job October 2010. I hope the judgmental jerks of the world NEVER have to go that route. My part time job and his unemployment weren’t cutting it, and we couldn’t keep up any longer.
      The first time I went shopping with coupons and the EBT card at a Florida Publix, the transaction got kicked back and it wouldn’t accept the EBT payment. The reason? “excessive tender”.
      The supervisor had to go back and reverse all the coupons for it to take the EBT payment. At that point, I didn’t want to offend another customer in line behind me with BOTH coupons and the EBT, because heaven forbid I try to use the benefits wisely. So, I stopped using coupons. It wasn’t worth the hassle, the heavy sighs, the rolling eyes, the time I was spending searching for the better deals. Here I was trying to be fiscally responsible with assistance benefits, and getting my hand slapped from several directions for it.

      • Claudia

        the problem with ebt, if you buy food and nonfood produce you do have to divide your transaction in 2. i always  put my food produce all togheter  and use the coupons and after pay with my card. and after i do my 2nd transaction with paper,trash bags,etc separated. hope it helps ,is work for me perfectly

        • P Darley

          That transaction in my first response was all food items, no non-food. The system didn’t like having the number of coupons that I was using for some reason. I have noticed though that we’re buying more fresh produce than we did previously. At this point though, our benefits will end up reducing and eventually going away because he’s finally found a part time job and starts next week. So, I’ll be resuming the couponing again to stretch that part of our budget. I’m just thankful that we had enough from our tax refund to pay off the van, so we at least no longer have car payments. All our vehicles are paid off, and it’s just a matter of some credit card debts that come to less than $2500, the mortgage and our other monthly expenses.

      • Guest

         I’m sorry. It does seem that the system favors irresponsibility sometimes.

        • P Darley

          Favoring irresponsibility and penalizing those trying to make long term gains. (ie: forcing you to liquidate things like 401k or  investments to get/keep benefits, when the likelihood of regaining them is slim-to-none and leaves participants dependent on the system during the elderly years.)

    • happymama22

       We as americans would never want our people to go with out food ever!! I would help anyone I can if they needed something, It is the people that have Iphones , their nails are done and drive suvs but there kids lunches are free and are on food stamps?? Something is wrong with that !!

      • Lshafer30

        what kind of vehicles should ebt users be driving?

        • happymama22

          Not $50,000 dollar SUV loaded to the max and that is not in all cases. I work at a school and see this everyday trust me!!

          • Wndibrd

             Just for the record. I paid $20 for my iphone (brand new) and $60 a month for service….

            • happymama22

              Well $60.00 a month for a cell phone is more than I pay!

            • Wndibrd

               Well we need all the bells and whistles for work :) But I do know what you mean. I saw a woman yelling into her iphone at the dentist with her daughter ( on medicaid) about her free cab ride that the state paid for.

            • Rachel

              Check out the Walmart Straight Talk phones, I have an awesome phone I paid $100 for about 2 years ago, it’s only $30 a month for 1000 text, 1000 voice minutes and 3G internet! Just an idea!

          • Lshafer30

            I drive a paid off dodge caravan. My husband drives a paid off Nissan Maxima. My kids ..4 of them..get free lunch. I get fs.  I get help with my rent. I’m also married. My husband works full time making $25000.  I’m going into debt $60,000 to get off fs.  I have a cell phone, my husband has one, and my 12 yr old daughter has one.  My 9 yr old is getting ready to have one so I can keep in touch with her during her many after school activities.  BUT guess what…our vehichcles were bought and paid for years ago when I was head teller at a credit union and my husband worked. My kids wear all the name brand clothes…bought brand spankin new at consignment shops and yard sales.  I have my nails done and my hair colored …at home by my husband after he works 50 hours a week to take care of our f amily.  What you ASSUME about people is not always correct so get off your high horse and stop being so dang judgemental.

            • Lshafer30

              I guess I should clarify..I’m going into debt by being a full time student.

          • Jessica117

            A lot of times where I’m from people can get approved for car loans for those big expensive cars and pay less monthly than something more moderate, but the interest is probably through the roof.

          • Coughs1

            First of all, I am not on food stamps.  I drive a nice SUV that is paid off and has all of the bells and whistles.  My husband was a VP in the construction industry.  We have always paid our bills and live in a nice home.  For those who don’t know every little detail of our lives, my husband lost his job almost 5 years ago.  We lived off of savings for the first 2 years.  Then he got a job making about a third of what he had made.  We couldn’t make our house payment anymore and are in foreclosure.  Recently, my husband took another pay cut that may land my children on free lunches and us on foodstamps.  I hope you will learn that things aren’t always as they appear.

          • Blah

            I work in Detroit, at an educational institution.  You would not believe the stories I hear and the things I see when it comes to abusing government assistance. 

        • Sporksoma

           Why is it any of your business?

          • Lshafer30

            // really..i replied to the dumb comment above me. im not saying an ebt user shouldnt have a nice car. geez.

      • Mustangof5

        Why is something wrong with that? i drive an suv because I have 7 kids and need the third row seating plus most vans have 4 bucket seats and not 2 benches like I need. Also I get my nails done every 2-3 weeks it cost 20 bucks because i like to look good and feeel good about my self too. I do not sell my food stamp money to do this. my husband busts his ass so he can provide for his family but no matter how much money he makes it will never be enough to pay for 7 kids. read my post from earlier and see where 7 kids came from I did’nt just lay around moochimg off the governement. i do not smoke or drink and think I am entitled to do something every now and then for myself. I hope that one day you are never in the situation some us are in. Oh and by the way i paid cash for my suv and i also have a 42 inch 3d television which i worked for. So now I should give it all away because I receive food stamps now???? Wait I should sell it right to feed my kids really I worked all my life until now I deserve to have nice things too. Those who are on foodstamps work hard to and are not trash.

    • Sjhover

      I was able to use coupons with my EBT card with no problem in middle TN. You do have to remember it will only pay for food and drink items, and if you are buying non-food items, even with coupons you will have to pay for those out of pocket. EBT users should never get cash back – it is part of the system that you can only use the funds on the EBT card for food items. AND Just because someone is getting food stamps does NOT make them a mooch on the system. My husband was laid off, there was no money coming in so we qualified for several government programs. As a couponer I wanted to stretch every penny (even the pennies given to me) so that it would last us!! The amount they give you on the EBT card is based on your family size so it’s not like credit card with no limit. If you use what you are given in a month you don’t have anymore until the next month. I am SO VERY happy for those of you who can say you’ve never needed the government to help you, but please be careful about how quickly you are to judge. There could come a time where YOU are eligible and YOU may need some help, and YOU will feel very foolish for your harsh comments to the others on here.

    • Whatabunch5

      Not all of us on assistance are “muching” If we are using coupons we OBVIOUSLY CARE about still trying to make it and save money.  My husband lost if VERY good job and so did I working at the same company.  He was going through the Police Academy and broke his leg.  We aren’t muching.  We ALSO paid into the system so all we are doing is getting back what we already pain into the system.  We have five kids and are trying our best not to lose everything we have worked so hard for.  Don’t judge.  I just pray you and your family never get in a bad situation.

    • MarJ

      I think the biggest issue people have with food stamps are the people who misuse them.  I know of many elderly people and people who have medical issues, etc.  BUT there are also people like who my husband works with.  He has 1 child, a wife that doesn’t work because she likes to sleep late (she could/should be working), and makes 65K a year.  He gets $600 a month in food stamps!  WHY IS THIS??? He even brags about selling some of his food stamps for cash so he can buy beer and cigs.  Then you have other people who really need them and either can’t get any or only get $20 a month!  The issue is with our government!

      • happymama22

        That is the problem we want to help those people that need it and are grateful. Not the ones that think they are owed something like always!! That is what is wrong with people today they think someone owes them something and just don’t care.

      • Guest

         There’s got to be something else going on there. You can’t qualify for assistance making 65K with only one child.

      • Sporksoma

         He’s not getting food stamps if he makes $65k/yr with one child.  TRUST me on this.  My husband makes $51k/yr, I do not work, we have no investment income or other money coming in, we have 3 children, and we get no WIC, food stamps, housing assistance, etc.  If he’s getting food stamps with an income drastically higher than our income, and with only one child, he is either lying to you about getting them or he’s lying to the government about his income in order to get them. 

      • Bmg38

        He needs to be reported pronto.

      • Wallaby123

        How is this possible?  I am an officer, make $28,000 with two kids (single) and I make too much money to be considered for assistance….

    • Kellyhuttoncoupons

      Personally I feel that if you have food stamps yu should not be getting vcash back. The government(taxes I pay)is giving you money for food and the food stamp person has not lost anything. The tax payer is savinf money(thank you)!

      • jennaj81

        sorry, but alot of people on Food Stamps are tax payers too.

        • Sporksoma

           I would say most people on food stamps are taxpayers.  Looking at the actual numbers and data involved, most people get food stamps to supplement an income that just isn’t high enough to be considered livable.  This includes all sorts of people, from the waitress down the street to the teacher who teaches your children.  They all pay taxes, even if that tax is only a sales tax on food, a car tag tax, a property tax, etc.

        • Tlwoodbury

          Many people on food stamps are taxpayers.  Don’t people realize that in,  absolutely everything one buys,  there are imbedded taxes?

          • Tlwoodbury

            Sorry,  my comma was misplaced.

      • Always_3xa_lady

        so who do YOU think should get the money?

    • A few years back when we were both in college, we qualified for food stamps and this was in Murfreesboro, TN. Well, you *could* use coupons but we were told by Kroger that we’d have to pay tax on the coupons, so in the end, it wasn’t worth it for us. 

      • jennifer_b3

        I live in TN and yes, while the sales tax on food is almost 9%, wouldn’t you still have saved money by using the coupon even if you had to pay tax on the coupon?  If you had a .50 coupon the tax would have been about .05 so you still would have saved .45, right? 

        • Well, we didn’t have food stamps for very long and the difference for us is that the tax came out of our own pocket. We were on a super tight budget and decided not to mess with it. We ended up saving more money by not buying the newspaper for coupons and then just doing store sales/buying kroger brand products. 

        • Candice

           When we were on food stamps a couple years ago, we literally couldn’t afford a few dollars in tax.  There are some out there like that, but otherwise, you make a great point.

    • Guest

      I think people on food stamps should be able to stretch their dollars, just like anyone else. I don’t see why they’d get cash back, though. The value of the coupons should be deducted from the total charged to the EBT card. I wonder why that doesn’t seem to be the case?

      • sarah

        because cometimes the coupons come off as “non-food” (dont ask, that’s just what it does, lol)

    • I find that everyone still tries to generalize what someone who doesn’t deserve food stamps should look like.  Ronald Regan started that generalization years ago when he spoke of a woman driving a Cadillac in Chicago.  If you’ve never read the story go out and read it before posting because a lot of you people are extremely arrogant and presumptuous in your thought process.  Yes people take advantage of the system but it is very much a small percentage and many times those people reap the benefits by having karma come back an haunt their lives.  The numbers are so very little but yet it always seems that people will continue to think that everyone on food stamps are trying to cheat the rest of America which just is so much gibberish. 

      So yes I think they should get the money back to help them with other purchases that food stamps don’t allow.  Life is hard sometimes and sometimes you did well for a long time and have a nice car and a nice house but suddenly you don’t make what you were and you didn’t prepare for those times or you did and it went longer than you expected.  Give people the benefit of the doubt because in general people are good and they aren’t trying to steal food off your own table.

    • Whatabunch5

      Here is the thing, I don’t think this person is paying tax on the food.  What I think is happening is she is paying the tax on the coupons being used.  Everytime I use coupons with my EBT, I pay a little too, NO BIG deal.  My food stamps go much further and last longer and now get us through the month where they didn’t before.  EVERYONE pays the tax on coupons if it is a requirement of the coupon.  I believe that is what is happening with this person.  You only notice it though when using Food Stamps.

      • sarah

        It’s like paying tax on the coupon because the coupon goes into the register as “non-food”

    • I have found the same problem with my ebt… and also i am charged qpon taxes for using qpons w my stamps its supposed to be tax free when u use stamps but they still charge qpon tax wich is rediculous! and they usually debit the amount owed back to me to my ebt card ;o) imforce them to do that and threaten to turn them in if they dont!

    • Jtdjagos

      I have wondered why it isn’t set up more like the WIC program. It seems that if it were allocated for a certain amount of food from different food categories,  with a smaller amount for “junk food” those who are not really in need would no longer be able to squander the money on  these “extras”. We only use a very small amount of our budget on treats-and yes I do believe that every family should be able to buy some trats, just not instead of real food.

      • jennaj81

        I agree. But they need a better system that how WIC is run. If not it would take FORVER to get through the check out line.

        • Guest

          They could just make FS “approved” foods, like they do with WIC.  If the stores can categorize items for WIC, and for NON-FS items (like alcohol, cigarettes, non-food items), then they can certainly allocate percentages of FS dollars for items such as treats, or produce, protein, etc. that way those who are potentially at nutritional risk are encouraged to eat a well balanced diet.  Although, you can look at that also as enforcing certain dietary guidelines on individuals in order to receive public assistance, which may not bode too well with the general public.

        • Guest

          They could just make FS “approved” foods, like they do with WIC.  If the stores can categorize items for WIC, and for NON-FS items (like alcohol, cigarettes, non-food items), then they can certainly allocate percentages of FS dollars for items such as treats, or produce, protein, etc. that way those who are potentially at nutritional risk are encouraged to eat a well balanced diet.  Although, you can look at that also as enforcing certain dietary guidelines on individuals in order to receive public assistance, which may not bode too well with the general public.

    • Brencoup

      I know a family member that uses coupons and it helps him stretch his food budget cause he would run out of food before the next month  came around. I think people on food stamps should be able to stretch their dollars like anyone else.

    • jennaj81

      In my experience I sometimes get cash back (only happened at Ingles) when the manager has to override or key in a coupon. And that doesn’t happen every time they have to do this, so it is a surprise when it does. They have always given me the cash back. But most of the time the cashiers have no idea what happened and the manager has to explain it to them. Basically the EBT card was overcharged. I always look at my EBT as MY family’s money, just as I would our debit card. So if the store keeps that money, then they are stealing from my family. You may say, “that’s the State’s money”, but I see it that the State has entrusted me with a gift that I am to use wisely.I would be just fine with them putting it back on my EBT card, but they do not. Either way, it will go back into buying more food.
      As far as having to pay tax out of pocket, I have only had to do this at Publix, CVS, and Target. Never at WalMart or Ingles.

      I want to address one issue that I keep reading about here today…people getting food for free. Most people on Food Stamps do not receive enough (even with using coupons) to fully cover their monthly food expenses. So they are still having to pay just like you. They just get a little help. There are families out there (like mine) where we have so many members that we actually receive more than we can use. I know what you are thinking…”that’s what’s wrong with the EBT system”, but as far as I have found, I can’t argue that they give us too much. So what I do is make a large donation to our food pantry every month.
      Yes, there are people out there who do not NEED to be on food stamps. And it IS NOT fair that a disabled widow on SS and Disablity cannot get more than $30 a month because “she already recieves alot of other benefits” (true story) while a girl with her kids and her boyfriend (whom she doesn’t claim lives with her so she can get more money) are out buying steaks. But this is the system’s fault and it does need to be re-vamped!

      It pains me to read people being so hateful to others in this area. You MUST put yourself in their shoes and try to be understanding. I’ve been there before. I swore we would never be on FS and thought of it as mooching. But after my husband lost his job I had to get of my high-horse and think about my kids (I was pregnant too). I’ve eaten my humble pie. One day you may too.

    • momof4

      I am humiliated by the fact that we have recently had to start using them. My husband lost his job, and we used our savings until there was nothing left though, before applying. I do try to hids the fact that I have them in the store…. I will even wait until later in the evening to go to the store!  And I do try to squeek every dime that I can out of them!  I do NOT want to be on them, and as soon as we can, we will be off of them….. the government owes us NOTHING…. and I hate having to use them!!!!

      • Waltershell53

        momof 4 don’t be ashamed of using your food stamps many of us in this country have had to get help.I dont have to have help but I can tell you this If I did I would not have a second thought about it. and I’m not debating this and dont want any arguments about it but your taxes goes to fund these programs.so basicly this is something your husband has pay into from working. so hold your head high and don’t ever be ashamed. you do need to feed your children.

      • Hediedforme

        You should not be ashamed or humiliated!  If you and your husband have done all that you can do to provide for your family, then be proud of that and the fact that you are trying so hard.  Your children are probably more understanding than you realize as well.  I have been in your very shoes and only after using all my savings, did I apply.  I held my head up high, knowing that I was making a way for my family.  And as soon as things turned around for us, we too came off of them.  It did make me stop and think about other people who were not abusing the system and how the EBT system does help.  As far as using coupons, I had to pay tax on my coupons when I used EBT so, I just stopped using the coupons and just looked for sale items at different stores in an effort to save money.  

      • Sporksoma

         Don’t be humiliated!  We are humans and humans are social creatures.  We depend on society and the people around us to help us survive.  It is NO SHAME to need help every now and then.  If someone you knew were to ask you for help because they were in a similar situation, wouldn’t you feel glad you could help them?  Don’t feel ashamed because it’s your turn to need help.  It isn’t a case of the government owing anyone anything, it’s a case of everyone in the country working together to help everyone else out.  :-)

    • Nancy Lundy

      Okay, folks, I think the intent of this post was to HELP this woman, not to decide who does/doesn’t deserve government assistance.  If anyone has experience using EBT and coupons, please help this woman!  The rest of us should keep our mouths shut.

    • Legaleagle_ohjewels

      I would call the 1800 number for the food stamps and ask them how that should work, maybe ask for the printed out law, or administrative code that spells that out so that you can have that on hand when you go to the stores and the managers give you trouble.  Here, when you go on foodstamps, you have to take a c lass and they encourage you to use coupons, so I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to do that and it should be coming off of your card, I wuld think.  But definitly call that number and ask them for the administrative code specifically that spells that out so that there will be no question.

    • Guest

      When a person uses food stamps, taxes are not taken out unless the cashier forgets to hit the correct button which is the result of the change due back.  I would talk to the manager of the store. 

    • Dannygrl85

      Jenny I’ve noticed this discussion has got a little out of line. So to answer your question those who use food stamps should always separate their food and non food transactions. Some stores do require you to pay the taxes on your coupons. Also if you get wic Publix and Bilo will let you get the bogo free deals on the items such as cereal or juice. Now wic also does produce vouchers for a certain amount each month.One way to stretch those is to get what’s in season or get frozen thats on sale and use coupons.

      Now I do have to say this….I am on food stamps…I have 6 children (not all biological)…ex does not pay child support. My husband injured his back last year and has had 2 surgeries. We had just found out we were expecting our first son. He made $70000 a year. We lived well for a family our size with NO government assistance. I can’t work because we have 2 children at home and my husband us unable to lift our 7 month old son. Day care is too expensive! I nurse our son and make his baby food to save money. We tried to not get on assistance but had no chose…thats why my husband paid taxes. I do agree people abuse the system…but dont judge anyone because you never know their story.

    • Always_3xa_lady

      just an FYI to all these know it alsl that want to criticize others for being on food stamps…and getting free food….the tides will change and i hope it makes you feel like the small minded person that you are when you have to apply.

    • guest

      The topic of public assistance will always be a touchy subject.  I believe that the welfare system does work if used correctly and it is not abused.  I work as a social worker so believe me I see my share fair of people who abuse the system.  If a person on food stamps has taken the time and energy to learn the art of couponing then they should by all means use coupons.  It not only saves tax payers money but it teaches people a lifeskill of learning to stretch a dollar.  I don’t know how many people on food stamps use their stamps to

    • guest

      pay full price for food when they could shop by sales and reduce the price even more by using coupons.  In the end coupons could help tax payers by decreasing the cost of taxes..

    • Always_3xa_lady

      not understanding why the people that use food stamps on here feel ANY need to explain to ANYONE why they are getting food stamps…………you dont need to tell anyone what your situation is, what it was, or what it will be in the future.

    • Rougescoyote

      Wow cant believe how nasty this got please quit being the judgers of society..HERE is  some sound advice when using food stamps hope this helpsany of you save better Yes you can use  coupons with food stamps  act as if you ebt card is your debt card works the same  way only no cash back . seperate you cash items from your food items.Rite aid walgreens  and cvs take food stamps also if you need groceries that are part of  these stores weekly rewards you can purchase the food items and use the reward  for your cash items   that food stamps normaly would not cover if you need any more help  with this issue  please feel free to cantact me would be more than happy to help any one who is lloking for the best way to budget.

    • Candice

       Not only is this an ignorant statement, but it’s incredibly rude!

    • JasonWade1

      This is the only thing i have run into… normally using EBT you do not pay taxes on food, when used tax is charged neither with your own money or ebt card. However, when i use coupons and my ebt card, i have to end up paying sales tax on the food that would otherwise not be charged… at least thats what happens at kroger. After reading all these comments and realizing im paying for something i shouldnt be charged for bc im using ebt. If buying food i do not feel that you should get money back when using ebt on food it should be added back to your ebt card for sure though!!! That is different from the ecb, ups, and rr though, you’re paying for your items so should get those store promotions bc they’re getting paid for their items as well.

    • 302799

      For those JUDGING those that are on food stamps … how very CHRISTIAN of you!  You are probably the same ones that have CHEATED on your TAXES.

      • guest

        Um, I often wonder why Christians assume that everyone around them is a Christian or cares to be one or cares to be like one?  Anyhoo, that is off topic.  In my state, I know that if someone on food stamps uses coupons and therefore, reduces monthly grocery expenses their benefit for future months is reduced.  In other words, someone I know has to buy more items and use up her money or the government will think she does not need so much because she is not using it all every month.

        • Rougescoyote

          I dont think it is about being a christian or being like a christian I think it is about being human or being like a human .one who doesnt need to  degrade others in order for themslf to  feel self rightouse…I guess in our society we just lack good judgement and forget our manners. how eles could one explain being mean and  nasty to a person they never meet.and dont know… this person was asking the right questions  so she could do things right and was judged without just cause…..

          • guest

            Agreed.  Yes, it is about being human.  Well said.

    • Rougescoyote

      Can you people please grow up and stop being nasty this person just want some advice on how to make her budget stretch. are all you really that much better than her. I would think not you all who have been   nasty and judgemental should be ashamed of your self this  used to be a site full of helpful info for everyone but now some of you have appointed yourselfs as judge and jurry….this person owes none a explaination of  why she and her  family are on food  stamps. perhapps most of you dont realize how close you are to being her what would you do if you and  your husbands  or  your family lost everything to  a dissaster natural or otherwise what if no one wanted to help you what if the world decided you  as a person were just not worth it.. what would you do; no one woke up this morning  and said when I grow up I want to be  pooror i want to lose my  job  or  anything eles that has caused this situation . I hope  some of you will re think your judgement of others  so maybe  one day you yourself wont be judged so harshly

    • Sporksoma

       I believe that her children aren’t biological children, and even if they were, who the heck are you to tell someone they can or cannot have a child?  Do you believe you are God, to tell people what they can and cannot do?  How arrogant and rude!

      • Always_3xa_lady

        your letting these people annoy you..i will tell you how i lessen my stress day to day. when someone says something stupid say BLESS YOUR HEART…stupid people will stay that way and there is no use in you wasting your time to help them get unstupid.

    • Always_3xa_lady

      i would go back to harris teeter and tell them either they will put the 1.40 back on my card or im calling the police..its theft…point blank the person didnt let them borrow that 1.40..so they are withholding something that belongs to the customer.

    • Always_3xa_lady

      i will tell you how i lessen my stress day to day. when someone says something stupid say BLESS YOUR HEART…stupid people will stay that way and there is no use in you wasting your time to help them get unstupid. stop letting these people annoy you.you owe them NOTHING and better yet you owe them NO EXPLANATION

    • Themellorsnc

      I’m just glad this lady on Food Stamps is even trying to use coupons. So many on government assistance don’t bother.

      Also, in all honesty, if you dislike the Food Stamp (now called SNAP) program, you should write or complain to your state senators and representatives. They are the ones who create and fund these programs. Just last summer of 2010 they passed a law to make it even EASIER financially to qualify for food stamps.

      It’s silly to blame people for taking advantage, especially in this economy. Folks are going to reach out for whatever freebies they can get. That’s just human nature and shouldn’t surprise anyone.

      It’s the politicians who come up with these programs to get themselves re-elected so if you don’t like the programs, blame them!

    • Mustangof5

      When I had my seven kids i worked for the sheriffs office and was able to afford them all. You seem very ignorant and probably lack an education but as far as i am concerned i am doing the right thing taking care of mu kids while earning my BA. In 6 months I will be furthering my education and will soon have my masters. So as far as you telling me i should not have had 7 kids who are you to tell someone what they can and can’t do  people like you are the problem.

      • P Darley

        I love how people think having fewer kids is the answer to the world’s problems. I have 4 kids of several ages and stages. In a time of the “sandwich generation”, it’s better to have more hands on deck to help with aging and ailing parents. I have had a few friends that have no siblings to help care for both their parents and their in-laws.

    • Always_3xa_lady

      IF SOMEONE IS MAKING JABS AT YOU ABOUT GETTING FOOD STAMPS SIMPLY SAY BLESS YOUR HEART. cause they obviously already know every detail of your life.no need to explain it to anyone.

    • My daughter is on food stamps and I’ve been teaching her to coupon as well.  The sad thing is in our state – if you use coupons with food stamps – you still have to pay sales tax on the amount you SAVED with the coupons.    Sales tax is 10% so if she saves 20.00 using coupons with her foodstamps, even though you don’t pay sales tax on the part paid for by food stamps, she has to pay $2.00 in sales tax on the money she saved.

      How’s that for twisted???

      • Serenemommie

        That is totally twisted! What if that person doesn’t HAVE the cash to pay that 10% tax on the money saved?? I am in NC and my family of 3 is on Food Stamps and I coupon. Thank goodness I don’t have to pay tax on savings, because some days I just don’t have it. Gotta love taxes!

    • Kellyscoupons

      Our local HTeeter acts like anyone using coupons is stealing so I am totally not surprised…

    • savinmavin

      Judge not that you be judged. For with that judgemnt you judge, you will be judged. Matthew 7:1-2

    • guest

      I know I have a lot of trouble figuring out my publix receipt.  I know that I pay the tax on all the q’s, but it still didn’t add up.  I think I will try the suggestion of seperating my food from nonfood in two transactions.  It would maybe be easier to figure it out that way.

      • Rougescoyote

        Always seperate your food  from cash items if you dont then you will be charged the tax  as with ebt there is no tax  and you can  use coupons it confuses the register when you lum  your cash items with ebt items after all it is  just a machine…

    • Vspiderlegs

      I use food stamps and coupons. at Harris Teeter when there is overage from e-coupons they are not supossed to give you back cash when using FS, but you can ask them to put it back on your card. Also at HT when using FS if they manually enter any of your coupons they will not come of your FS balance but instead give you cash back that they arent supposed to give you

    • Vspiderlegs

      ask to have this amount put back on to your FS card. It is your money and savings and you are entitled to it.

      • Rougescoyote

        one would need to go to the customer service desk to have the over charged amount put  back on there ebt card  a manager need to do this your cashier cant

        • Kouba65

          My cashier has been able to credit back my EBT CARD at the register.

        • Kouba65

          My cashier has been able to credit back my EBT CARD at the register.

    • lovinlife4

      I would like to respond to the comment about people on food stamps driving SUVs and talking on I-Phones.  I am one of those people.  Get some facts straight.  I had a great job, and was able to afford an i-phone.  When I lost my job, I still needed a phone.  I do not have a home phone, and as I am under contract, there are not a lot of options.  I can’t afford the deposits to change to another carrier, plus I would be breaking my contract and getting hit with all kinds of penalties!  I am stuck!  I drive a mid-size SUV.  It is paid for and is my only asset at this point.  It is a 2007 model with over 125,000 miles.  I do my nails at home, so that I look halfway decent when going on job interviews.  I learned to do them myself.  I am in sales, so right or wrong, looks matter.  Most of us on assistance hate the position we are in.  I can’t stand having to pull out the EBT card at the grocery store.  It is humiliating.  I bought a pack of NY Strips one day.  Let me say they were on sale already, and then were marked down (I go early in the morning to get the marked down produce, bread and meat), plus I had a coupon off meat.  5 NY Strip steaks cost me $10.  But the look I got at the check out line said it all.  If I can afford steak, I do not need to be on food stamps.  Hello…those steaks were cheaper per pound than hamburger!  I am a single mom with 4 kids (2 teenage boys and 2 girls).  I receive $455 a month.  Without coupons I could not survive on that amount.  And to the original question; definitely split the food from non food.  I have never received money back.   

      • Always_3xa_lady

        all you did was feed the critics…now they will pick apart your entire life as though they are your moral compass.the only one you need to explain any of this to is the employee the works for the state.explain nothing to any judgmental person that knows abosuletly nothing about you.

      • Ashley

         I think what you’re trying to do for your family is great. And it sucks, but some people really do ruin it for others. I work at Publix and let me tell you do we see some people who abuse the system. And that mindset does have cashiers look at people differently. I commend you for taking care of your family and not taking advantage of the system. Good for you :D Times are hard these days.

      • Jtdjagos

        My friend’s husband took his life last week and she may end up needing assistance now that his income is gone. I hope she is not made to feel that she has to explain her situation to everyone she meets so they don’t judge her. The system is set up to help those in need. I’m sure we have all witnessed abuses, but I know there are people in our country who would go hungry without it. All you can do is hope that as people are able to provide for themselves again, that they help the next person, without judgement.

      • Klbarnes28

        I think it is great that you bought steaks. I guess you cant win, if you bought a bunch of Ramen and junk food, they would judge you too.

    • Mmkris

      I work as a cashier in Florida.  If your coupons are for non food Items you must seperate your order because the coupons lower your food total taken from EBT not the item it is for.

    • Amy

      I do it different. I ring up everything together and the e-coupons that come off come off the total of my non food items. Cheaper out of pocket when I need diapers or wipes. So if I know there will be ecoupons coming off I add a few things that are non food to eat that overage up. I understand not everyone does this that way it doesnt take your fs away. But it prevents any problems at check out for me,

    • Amy

      I do it different. I ring up everything together and the e-coupons that come off come off the total of my non food items. Cheaper out of pocket when I need diapers or wipes. So if I know there will be ecoupons coming off I add a few things that are non food to eat that overage up. I understand not everyone does this that way it doesnt take your fs away. But it prevents any problems at check out for me,

    • Liza

      Back when my husband was layed off, we worked through our savings, THEN ended up with EBT. I still kept our budget of $73 per every 12 days (fam of 4), also continued couponing. There were several times I had to speak with managers in both Kroger and Publix, and they were VERY professional as far as making sure I wasn’t “mischarged”. (not so much some of the cashiers). Anyway, I’d recommend always taking the time to seperate your food  from  nonfood, and I also seperated my food/nonfood coupons. Also, depending on the cashier, I would make two seperate purchases. As a side note, my husband went back to school at night for a SECOND MASTER’S degree, and is now a public school teacher. We will never forget how being layed off and ending up on EBT was  humbling, and certainly nothing we ever planned.

      The ? wasn’t “what’s your opinion on me having foodstamps”?  it was pertaining to how to remedy being mischarged if using coupons/catalinas/FS.

    • Liza

      Back when my husband was layed off, we worked through our savings, THEN ended up with EBT. I still kept our budget of $73 per every 12 days (fam of 4), also continued couponing. There were several times I had to speak with managers in both Kroger and Publix, and they were VERY professional as far as making sure I wasn’t “mischarged”. (not so much some of the cashiers). Anyway, I’d recommend always taking the time to seperate your food  from  nonfood, and I also seperated my food/nonfood coupons. Also, depending on the cashier, I would make two seperate purchases. As a side note, my husband went back to school at night for a SECOND MASTER’S degree, and is now a public school teacher. We will never forget how being layed off and ending up on EBT was  humbling, and certainly nothing we ever planned.

      The ? wasn’t “what’s your opinion on me having foodstamps”?  it was pertaining to how to remedy being mischarged if using coupons/catalinas/FS.

    • Rena

      This may have been covered on down the page I didn’t read all post. I noticed on most cupons it say’s in fine print that the Sales Tax is paid by consumer. So I think what is happening is any products bought with the coupons the tax is added back to the recipt. So for example, I buy Hotpockets with the food Stamps/SNAP @ $11.00 and I have a .50 coupon off the Hotpockets making it $10.50. the EBT should be charged $10.50 and you should have to out of pocket pay (in GA 7%) .74 cent’s. This is what happened with my Friend @ Kroger.  So if your getting SNAP I think it would be better for you to only use the coupons when your paying cash for your purchases.

    • Amy

      Wow, I cannot believe that this conversation has been allowed to go on this long. I never realized how many small minded people there are in the world. We are not here to judge one another. We are ALL here for the same reason, to save on food, household items, and things for our families. Let’s be adults and keep it at that.

    • Nana

      Yes seperate the food from the non-food and use use use your coupons. As far as the unhelpfull arrogant ignorant comments made on here and the deep drama’s carried on here can I just say – OMG!  Bless ya’lls heart. Wonder how long till karma bites you?

    • Davise

      tHANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS jENNY. i AM ON FS and all of this info has been extremely helpful (well most of it LOL) lets stay on topic people! 

    • Coupon

      I appreciate those of you who are using coupons while on FS. It is good that you are still conscience of budgeting and making a dollar stretch. I have learned that even when using coupons you have to pay the tax. 

      As for those who are frustrated with the food stamp system, I understand, yet if someone is on here trying to be as responsible as possible seeking help to get back on their feet, be grateful, help them. They are not the ones you are frustrated with. If you have better ideas to help your fellow countrymen then by all means go into politics.

    • Kfpiglet

      this has been very helpful information as i just started receiving food stamps and didnt know if you could use coupons with the EBT card.  to those people who look down and talk badly about people that have to resort to assistancee, you should not judge.  i am married with 3 kids and i work 2 jobs while my husband is trying to find a job after being let go from the company he had worked for after 13 years.  it is not as easy as people think to get a job these days.  he used to make $2500 a month and now cant even get a job making $8.00/hour.  he as applied everywhere and no luck so i had no choice but to  get help.  i am very grateful for the food stamps because now i know my kids will have food to eat and the money i am making barely pays the bills but at least we are able to keep up with things right now.

    • Guest

      Sure have been a lot of comments deleted from this page.  It is a shame that we can not have a civil debate about the food stamp system and that the people who speak out against abuse of the system get censored and called judgmental.  Seems pretty hypocritical to me.  I have not seen one comment that that suggested that food stamps should never be issued – only that the system should not be abused.  Why is that point of view censored?

      • Yimeius

        Because this page was not intended for a debate on morality of food stamps !!! This page is about food-stamps , coupons and people who use them if they encounter any problem with it. So obviously nasty and mean comment are delete, they are not related to the topic.

    • Nrv_saver

      I don’t believe that cash should be give back when using coupons and an EBT card, this was the entire reason for the elimination of paper stamps. However, I do think that if someone has the common sense and forethought to stretch their food stamp dollars by couponing, their card shouldn’t be charged for money they did not spend.

    • Nrv_saver

      I don’t believe that cash should be give back when using coupons and an EBT card, this was the entire reason for the elimination of paper stamps. However, I do think that if someone has the common sense and forethought to stretch their food stamp dollars by couponing, their card shouldn’t be charged for money they did not spend.

    • Sunbeam

      Thank you for addressing this, Jenny. I have had to go on food stamps & ALWAYS use coupons when I buy. I have a couponing friend who was discouraged from using coupons BY her social worker. But some of the things I’ve read on here, the nasty mean comments are why I hide my EBT card from everyone but the cashier. I hate having to rely on FS,, it embarasses me to no end.

      • Silkowski

        You should never feel ashamed of feeding your family. Whether it’s with help from food stamps or a food bank. Taking care of you family is a high priority. If you need a little help there’s no shame in that.

    • Kathy Hodges

      My daughter uses food stamps because she had cancer and is now suffering from the after effects of her cancer treatments…anyways…..she used her foodstamp card at one of the drugstores and then was able to use her reward or extra bucks to purchase  her toilet paper and wash powder, deodorant etc…I think this is wonderful because food stamps dont buy necessities families need. By using coupons she stretches her food stamps. Food stamps are to help people feed thier families…anyone at anytime can become ill and may need help….NEVER JUDGE OTHERS

    • Sarahgal313

      I used to receive food assistance.  I used coupons to make the amount given to me used in the most productive way possible.  I would run into some of the same issues.  I no longer receive food assistance but still continue to use coupons and make the most of the amount I have budgeted for food.  I have not read every post nor will I  I can only imagine some of the comments made.  There will be people who abuse every system that is put in place.  There will be people who take advantage of every system meant to help the needy.  The thing is we have to think (and not criticize) about the people who truly need it and who are using it for what it’s intended for.

    • curious

      I help my mom and grandmother who recieve food stamps and it helps them alot and they are able to really streatch their stamps with coupons.  I didn’t know the ecoupon situation and haven’t encountered it so far but I wonder if the ‘overage’ or money due back could go toward nonfood purchases such as detergents and papergoods?  These are always out of pocket rake and scrape items for them. 

      • Serenemommie

        They can go towards these items. I have had this happen to me several times which is what has led me to splitting up my food/non food items. If there are other items there to take up that overage that are non food though, it will work that way.  There have been times I have resulted in overage  with strictly a food item order. When this happened, the store credited my EBT card back the amount that was due in overage.

    • Mary

       
      My family of 6 gets $360.00 a month in benefits and that equals out to $90.00 / week. Some weeks I come way under that, others I go a little over. I do not have a deep freezer, so all the meats that I get goes into my freezer on top of my refrigerator. I can only fit at the max two weeks worth, and that is if I do not have any frozen vegetables, etc so I can not stock up on meats like I would like.
       
      What I have learned when using my EBT / SNAP benefits, I am in South West GA,  is that no matter what break your non-food and food items up into different transactions. Even if the cashier says “it will separate it for you”.  Then depending on the store’s register and/or policy, sometimes you have to pay tax on the amount of the coupon or the shipping and handling for the coupon. I personally have never had “cash back” or overage when using my EBT card, so I can not offer any help.
       
       I will list several examples of things that either did not make sense to me or went wrong.
       
      1)      At CVS last week I bought food and non food items. The food items totaled up to $15.00 and the non-food items totaled up to around $6.50, which my subtotal was @ $21.50.  I used a $4.00/$20.00 CVS coupon, my EBT card, then coupons, then some ECBs. I had it figured out that my out-of-pocket should have been around $1.50. Well when it can time to debit my bank debit card, they wanted to debit $7.00.  I was confused! I am never more than a few pennies off of my calculations. To make a long story shorter instead of taking the $4/$20 first, it took the EBT off first ($15.00). Then of course it would not take off the $4/$20 because the subtotal was not $20.00.  I did not figure it out until I got home that it also did not take off a $1 ECB. So I wound up not getting coupon credits in the amount of $5.00. (I could not find out where the extra $0.50 came from!) Hence split your non-food and food items up!
      2)      However, if there is an overcharge and it is found they can credit it back to your EBT card immediately. I have had this happened several times, when something was on sale, but did not ring up properly.
      3)      Walmart, basically I did not split the order up and instead of taking the coupon amount of the item that the coupon was for, which was baby formula, it debited my EBT card for the full amount, and took it off of my non-food items.
      4)      Last month Walgreen’s had the Jiff for 2/$5.00 with a $1.00/2 store coupon (booklet upfront), thus making both jars $4.00 after the coupon.  I purchased 4 jars in one week; I realized that I would need more than 2 jars to make it until my EBT card was refilled on the 11th of this month.  The first time I used my EBT card and the store coupon and it debited my EBT card $4.00.  The second time I used my EBT card, the store coupon and a $2.00 RR.  The card was still debited $4.00, but this time I had to pay < $0.10 (I do not have the receipt anymore).  The only thing I can figure was that if it is a manufacturer coupon you have the pay tax on it and if it is a “price / code” change” you do not.
      5)      Harvey’s here, never charges taxes on the coupons, even if using EBT / SNAP benefits. Neither does Winn Dixie.
      6)      Another local grocery store, independent, charges tax on each coupon in the amount of 7%.
       
       
        My family of 6 gets $360.00 a month in benefits and that equals out to $90.00 / week. Some weeks I come way under that, others I go a little over. I do not have a deep freezer, so all the meats that I get goes into my freezer on top of my refrigerator. I can only fit at the max two weeks worth, and that is if I do not have any frozen vegetables, etc so I can not stock up on meats like I would like.  What I have learned when using my EBT / SNAP benefits, I am in South West GA,  is that no matter what break your non-food and food items up into different transactions. Even if the cashier says “it will separate it for you”.  Then depending on the store’s register and/or policy, sometimes you have to pay tax on the amount of the coupon or the shipping and handling for the coupon. I personally have never had “cash back” or overage when using my EBT card, so I can not offer any help.  I will list several examples of things that either did not make sense to me or went wrong. 1)      At CVS last week I bought food and non food items. The food items totaled up to $15.00 and the non-food items totaled up to around $6.50, which my subtotal was @ $21.50.  I used a $4.00/$20.00 CVS coupon, my EBT card, then coupons, then some ECBs. I had it figured out that my out-of-pocket should have been around $1.50. Well when it can time to debit my bank debit card, they wanted to debit $7.00.  I was confused! I am never more than a few pennies off of my calculations. To make a long story shorter instead of taking the $4/$20 first, it took the EBT off first ($15.00). Then of course it would not take off the $4/$20 because the subtotal was not $20.00.  I did not figure it out until I got home that it also did not take off a $1 ECB. So I wound up not getting coupon credits in the amount of $5.00. (I could not find out where the extra $0.50 came from!) Hence split your non-food and food items up!2)      However, if there is an overcharge and it is found they can credit it back to your EBT card immediately. I have had this happened several times, when something was on sale, but did not ring up properly.3)      Walmart, basically I did not split the order up and instead of taking the coupon amount of the item that the coupon was for, which was baby formula, it debited my EBT card for the full amount, and took it off of my non-food items. 4)      Last month Walgreen’s had the Jiff for 2/$5.00 with a $1.00/2 store coupon (booklet upfront), thus making both jars $4.00 after the coupon.  I purchased 4 jars in one week; I realized that I would need more than 2 jars to make it until my EBT card was refilled on the 11th of this month.  The first time I used my EBT card and the store coupon and it debited my EBT card $4.00.  The second time I used my EBT card, the store coupon and a $2.00 RR.  The card was still debited $4.00, but this time I had to pay < $0.10 (I do not have the receipt anymore).  The only thing I can figure was that if it is a manufacturer coupon you have the pay tax on it and if it is a “price / code” change” you do not.5)      Harvey’s here, never charges taxes on the coupons, even if using EBT / SNAP benefits. Neither does Winn Dixie.6)      Another local grocery store, independent, charges tax on each coupon in the amount of 7%.      
       
      My family of 6 gets $360.00 a month in benefits and that equals out to $90.00 / week. Some weeks I come way under that, others I go a little over. I do not have a deep freezer, so all the meats that I get goes into my freezer on top of my refrigerator. I can only fit at the max two weeks worth, and that is if I do not have any frozen vegetables, etc so I can not stock up on meats like I would like.
       
      What I have learned when using my EBT / SNAP benefits, I am in South West GA,  is that no matter what break your non-food and food items up into different transactions. Even if the cashier says “it will separate it for you”.  Then depending on the store’s register and/or policy, sometimes you have to pay tax on the amount of the coupon or the shipping and handling for the coupon. I personally have never had “cash back” or overage when using my EBT card, so I can not offer any help.
       
       I will list several examples of things that either did not make sense to me or went wrong.
       
      1)      At CVS last week I bought food and non food items. The food items totaled up to $15.00 and the non-food items totaled up to around $6.50, which my subtotal was @ $21.50.  I used a $4.00/$20.00 CVS coupon, my EBT card, then coupons, then some ECBs. I had it figured out that my out-of-pocket should have been around $1.50. Well when it can time to debit my bank debit card, they wanted to debit $7.00.  I was confused! I am never more than a few pennies off of my calculations. To make a long story shorter instead of taking the $4/$20 first, it took the EBT off first ($15.00). Then of course it would not take off the $4/$20 because the subtotal was not $20.00.  I did not figure it out until I got home that it also did not take off a $1 ECB. So I wound up not getting coupon credits in the amount of $5.00. (I could not find out where the extra $0.50 came from!) Hence split your non-food and food items up!
      2)      However, if there is an overcharge and it is found they can credit it back to your EBT card immediately. I have had this happened several times, when something was on sale, but did not ring up properly.
      3)      Walmart, basically I did not split the order up and instead of taking the coupon amount of the item that the coupon was for, which was baby formula, it debited my EBT card for the full amount, and took it off of my non-food items.
      4)      Last month Walgreen’s had the Jiff for 2/$5.00 with a $1.00/2 store coupon (booklet upfront), thus making both jars $4.00 after the coupon.  I purchased 4 jars in one week; I realized that I would need more than 2 jars to make it until my EBT card was refilled on the 11th of this month.  The first time I used my EBT card and the store coupon and it debited my EBT card $4.00.  The second time I used my EBT card, the store coupon and a $2.00 RR.  The card was still debited $4.00, but this time I had to pay < $0.10 (I do not have the receipt anymore).  The only thing I can figure was that if it is a manufacturer coupon you have the pay tax on it and if it is a “price / code” change” you do not.
      5)      Harvey’s here, never charges taxes on the coupons, even if using EBT / SNAP benefits. Neither does Winn Dixie.
      6)      Another local grocery store, independent, charges tax on each coupon in the amount of 7%.
       
       
       
       
       
       

       
       
       

      • Mary

        I am soo sorry, my stupid cute and paste went CRAZY!

    • Paige

      I am now using Food Stamps as I have decided to be a stay at home mom while my husband is a teacher.  The state he teaches in has not had a pay raise for 5 years and he makes 10,000 less than the “poverty level.” Our family of 5 now is eligible to receive assistance. With the 169 a month we receive, I know we are getting much more than that because everything I get is with coupons or finding the smashed up item, or double markdown meat, etc.  I have never had a problem with “overage” or any miss charges.  I always watch what is being rung up and I don’t usually get a cart load of things at a time. I do twice a week shopping and I have never separated my food from non-food and have never had an issue. I did have a coupon that had to be manually entered and it took the amount off of the non food item.  I don’t know if this addressed anything but I was so happy I found southersavers and can stretch my food money!

      • Mindyinsc

         My husband is also a teacher, and it is sad that our husbands our educating our youth and sacrificing their own family time, to fall below the poverty level..these are college educated men doing a service to our community! It is sad and absolutely pathetic the pay teachers receive. I served as parent liaison to my son’s elementary school and the District. I found out teachers were eligible for food stamps via our SUPERINTENDENT!! 60% of teachers and their families our eligible for public assistance!! Something is REALLY WRONG with this picture!

        • Wendyl911

          Its the same in EMS how is a paramedic saving lives not able to feed their family?! Myself and all the people I have worked with have had to take 2nd & 3rd jobs PLUS OT just to make it. Its CRAP!

    • Trash2treasures11

      For informational purposes SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP is meant to be an assistance program only.  It is NOT meant to nor does not cover a full month’s worth of groceries for anyone (that I know of).  Anyone who uses sales, BOGO’s, coupons, etc in addition to using their alloted $ in SNAP benefits should be commended for stretching every shopping dollar to benefit their family.  I am very sure that anyone on this forum asking for help to save food $ are NOT the recipients who are using the system or selling SNAP benefits to get cash, buy beer/alcohol, cigs, etc.

      That said, while I was married, I worked and when my husband left the children and I still worked.  I’ve never received housing assistance, daycare assistance or cash benefits.  Beyond all that, I can tell you that the worst place to be is when your doctor tells you that you are disabled and you cannot work.  In the past, i’ve worked, i’ve paid into the system, paid my fair share of taxes, raised 3 children who are not a burden on society and all I need now is some help – I should be allowed that help.  And, yes, I too have used register rewards or overages to purchase necessities such as soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, toilet tissue, personal products – I do NOT drink, smoke, do drugs, or sell my SNAP benefits.  These days, I have nothing to my name except a basic phone, a broken down car and the knowledge I have retained throughout my life – a hundred years from now maybe someone will remember me because I said something useful to them or helped them in some other way.  Best Wishes to all those who are fighting the good fight to survive through trying times.

    • evewitch

      In my experience, the “cash back” results from incorrectly coded coupons. They show up as non-food or miscellaneous when they are really for food. Therefore, they do not subtract from the EBT food total, and if you do not purchase nonfood items that cost more than that value the register shows change due. The store must find a way to give you this money because it is YOURS – the coding error is out of your control. If the store does not feel comfortable giving you the cash back (understandable, since it is technically illegal, although mine always has), they are able to manually credit your EBT food balance in a separate transaction. If they do not do one of these two things, they are STEALING YOUR BENEFITS and should be reported IMMEDIATELY. Heck, if it were me, I would call the police and see how fast the store manager could figure out how to fix the situation.

      • Jeff

         “since it is technically illegal”… no – it’s either legal or illegal… but for most of the 200+ comments that I have read – it is NOT illegal. Beacause you are using ebt + non ebt in the same transaction, the money that is owed is from the non ebt part of the transaction. Many of the problems are the way the cashier keys in the coupon… or non-standard coupons (like using a store coupon with in-house UPC or barcode at a competitor). (But not always – because I have had dogfood come up as a food item … and no – I’m not that hard up yet). It’s one store/customer purchase – but 2 separate totals w/ 1 for ebt/wic/fs and 1 for cash/check/cc/debit on the receipt.

    • Mindyinsc

      Reading through some of these comments I am disgusted, embarrassed and absolutely saddened to be an American this morning. So many people have lost very good paying jobs (my husband included), lost homes, had to move away from family and friends in search of work, and have had to use public assistance, WHICH THEY ARE ENTITLED TO, after paying INTO THE SYSTEM when they were employed. I do not get EBT, but I am a serious couponer. I can only imagine the looks people are giving some of y’all for using food stamps, because I get looks and even been called “the crazy coupon lady, like on the TV show”, for using coupons. The economy is horrible, gas prices are ridiculous, and basic living items are becoming a luxury!! Long gone are the stereotypical days of people “living off the system”, SURVIVING off the system has become the norm, and it is OK, and I would much rather see people using the system instead of letting their families starve! And as a mom and wife, you still want to feel good, and look good, especially when live gets you down…so use those coupons, EBT, ECB, and RR, paint your nails (which polish is free ALL the time with coupons), do your hair, keep your chin up and ignore those people that give you “the looks”. You are doing what is best for your family and I applaud you for swallowing your pride and doing what needs to be done!!!

    • I thought that you have to pay tax on the coupons you use. I know people who don’t use coupons on food stamps because of this (they couponed before getting FS). I personally (IRL) don’t know ANYONE on FS who also coupons. And they think it’s weird that I do and I should just go and get FS (I don’t qualify and even if i did i would still coupon.)

    • Nonnie Mouse

      Guidelines for couponing with food stamps: KNOW THE RULES, both of the coupons and the benefits. You are NOT permitted to ‘cash in’ benefits, which includes returning items purchased with benefits for cash, reselling anything purchased with benefits, or getting cash back on coupon overage (which the terms of nearly every coupon I’ve ever seen also prohibit).That said, there is nothing to prevent you from obtaining rebates, BOGOs, using catalinas for non-food items, etc. These places are where the greatest opportunities lie (especially for people who are on WIC and find deals that coincide with your WIC list items). You have to read more carefully than someone couponing with cash funds though, since many rebates, etc. exclude you from taking part if you are using any form of welfare program funds.
      It’s tough, I’ve been there, but you can do it and feed your family well. Consider it your second job, or job from home.
      Tough times saw us finish college right at the high of the recession. No jobs. We were on food stamps for a while. My educational background was in Social Work, so this gave me a two sided look at public assistance.
      There are a lot of flaws in the program, but probably the worst is the sense of entitlement that many people develop after using it.
      I couponed while on Food Stamps and it made our benefits stretch incredibly (yes, we made it cover our monthly food bill, plus a little).  It also helped prevent dropping into wasteful spending habits, which a number of other people I met admitted they had fallen in to (“I don’t know how I’m going to go back to buying groceries the normal way.”).
      If you are using benefits, I think you NEED to coupon more than ever!

      • Whatabunch5

        Great post!  We have had to turn down some “benefits” such as the prescription benefits at Target because of the kids being on Medicaid.  When they asked, I told them we don’t qualify and told them why, they thanked me for being honest.  I wish we could “qualify” for the special things they do but we don’t right now.  Hopefully soon.  You do have to know the rules and follow them just like anything else.  Rules are everywhere this isn’t anything different. 

    • Lisaburcher

      My frustration this week has been with people buying out all the deals at Harris Teeter due to the triples. I’ve been to 3 stores (in the next 2 towns because we don’t have a HT) trying to get non-food items that my EBT benefits don’t cover and all I can find are empty shelves. I went early Wed morning and folks had already cleared things out. I know we are ALL feeling the financial bite right now, but I am disabled and my bf works 2 part time jobs ((after searching for work for over 2 years)….I just want to be able to get things like toilet paper and paper towels for reasonable use….not stockpile it. :(

      • Mindyinsc

         I popped into HT today for a few things we were out of or running really low on…my kids will not eat school lunches so they pack everyday and getting a variety is challenging. With many .75 coupons out there I thought I’d pick up a few things….but nope…shelves were empty. HT has the 3 coupon per item rule, but I guess if someone has numerous VIC cards it doesn’t really matter. AND many things Jenni had listed, were not on sale at our HT…bummer…maybe try on Tuesday before the new ad flips, things might be restocked by them…

    • Lisa Langely(and also others,) I am so sorry for all youre going trough.$350 for a fam of 5 is ridiculous, but i was told if anyone over the age of 18 is going to school,working for a school or the school system or district or gets unemployment or disability,it counts as an income and your foodstamps get lowered. Well if you get disability or unemployment it counts as an income and your foodstamps get lowered a lot,if you work for the school in any way,its most likely just a few hrs a day,but you are not as flexible any more to accept full time jobs. We know someone who drives the school bus about 2hrs in the morning and2 hrs at night and someone who keeps are schools clean a few hrs a night,but that leaves no room for a higher paying jobs/full time jobs which makes foodstamps get lowered usually $100per  adult student since students are not flexible enough to accept full time jobs and to work when the boss wants them to even during school hrs and its hard for them to come to interviews at a moments notice or to come when others are offering or need them most. Thats why the amount of foodstamps for each student is taken off and disability is considered an income to be used on food and therefore thought not to need as much foodstamps as someone who does not receive disability. I was told when we applied for foodstamps that we can not use it to get cash back.  $350 is ridiculous for a fam of 5(we get $100 taken of for each student here which is why noone in our fam is going to college yet). If it makes you feel any better we have a friend who has an elderly customer who is not working at all who gets $30 in foodstamp each month,so she gets $30 a month in foodstamps. Now about the $1.40. We went to Harris Teeter on wed for tripple wk.We found specialty cookie dough for $1.00 each(st pattys day cookie dough,which in my store was hiding with the milks). We had printable coupons we printed of the internet which were good for 75 cents of off 2 which if you buy the st pattys day cookie dough makes them free. Also if you are an evic member even w/o coupons its free. I am comming to the $1.40 part. Also we found out Cedar Lane is B1G1for $4.89 at our store and there are coupons for it.Our store will also let us have the discount if we only buy 1 of the B1G1. We didnt but its good to ask,some stores will let you. We also found out that we can print red hot sauce coupons for 30 or 35 cents of of one bottle which tripples to 90cents to $1.05 and they are on sale right now for buy 1,get one at$1.49 which makes it 74 cents each and most harris teeters will let you get them at discount rate even if you only get one of them,we did only get one hotsauce for that price today.(well yesterday now. i meant to post this yesterday, but my computer wouldn’t let me.) At checkout the lady handed us back $1.40 on wed.We only bought food items than and only used our ebt card than. The cashier said she didnt know why but the register said she owed us money,the register said to give us $1.40 in cash. We told her maybe a coupon was for more than the value of the item,but we didnt think harris teeters gave cash back(their coupon policy says they dont give cash back on coupons regardless how you pay). We said we didnt think harris teeters gave cash back on coupons,she said she didnt think they did either,but the register told her to do so,to give us cash back,so she gave it to us.

    • mj

      I use coupons with  my fs and it saves money for me to use thru out the month. Most places  charge a tax on coupons, only Wal-Mart and Lowes Foods don’t in my area.  I don’t mind paying the 10 or 20 cent cause using coupons saves me anywhere from $5 to $20 on my fs. I can then use that to buy more food. What could I possibly buy with the 10 to 20 cent if I didn’t use coupons?