EBT SNAP Benefits

10 Surprising Things You Can Buy with Food Stamps

Do you ever wonder what items you can buy with food stamps? The USDA has very specific rules regarding the items you are eligible to purchase with SNAP benefits. However, there are a few very surprising items that you may know not you can purchase with your benefits.

In today’s post, we will provide you with the 10 items you didn’t know you can buy with food stamps. To find out, continue reading this article to find out what they are.

10 Surprising Things You Can Buy with Food Stamps

We get a ton of questions from our readers asking if specific food items are eligible to be purchased with their food stamp benefits. Today’s post is going to highlight the 10 most surprising things that you can buy with your food stamp benefits.

They are as follows:


"Can I buy Red Bull with Food Stamps?"

#1 – Energy Drinks

Our first item on the list is energy drinks. This includes Red Bull, Monster, and any other energy drink that has a nutritional label. If an energy drink does not have a nutritional label on it, then it is not eligible to be purchased with your food stamp benefits.



"Can I buy Shrimp with Food Stamps?"

#2 – Seafood

You can purchase seafood such as fish, shrimp, lobster, and crab with your food stamps as long as it is not served hot. You cannot use your EBT Card to purchase any seafood falls under the “Ready-to-Eat” category. In addition, any seafood must be served cold, fresh or frozen to qualify.

For more information about purchasing seafood with your EBT card including seafood market locations in Georgia, check out our post, here.


"Can I buy Kcups with Food Stamps?"

#3 – Coffee

Your benefits can buy coffee including coffee beans, ground coffee, K-Cups, and Single Serve Coffee Packets. You can not use SNAP benefits to purchase hot coffee.


"Can I buy Slurpee with Food Stamps?"

#4 – Slurpees & Fountain Soda

You can purchase fountain sodas or Slurpees at approved locations with your food stamp benefits. However, you can only drink them off store property.


"Can I buy Candy with Food Stamps?"

#5 – Candy

SNAP and food stamp benefits can be used to purchase any variety of candy.


"Can I buy Subway with Food Stamps?"

#6 – SUBWAY Sandwiches

Your food stamp benefits can purchase cold SUBWAY sandwiches, salads and subs in select states. However, if you are purchasing SUBWAY with SNAP benefits, you cannot eat your food at the store. Also, you cannot purchase any hot or toasted SUBWAY items.


"Can I buy Deli Sandwiches with Food Stamps?"

#7 – Cold Deli Items

Benefits can be used to purchase items in your grocery deli section such as subs, sandwiches, salads, sushi, and more. However, you can only purchase cold deli items with your food stamp benefits.


"Can I buy Steak with Food Stamps?"

#8 – Steak

Food stamp benefits can be used to purchase steak or any beef products.


"Can I buy Birthday Cake with Food Stamps?"

#9 – Birthday Cake

You can use your food stamps to purchase birthday cake as long as the value of any decorations is not more than 50% of the total cake price.

For more information on purchasing birthday cake with your EBT card including EBT eligible bakeries, check out our previous post here.


"Can I buy Pizza with Food Stamps?"

#10 – Pizza

You can purchase pre-made, cold pizza with your food stamp benefits and cook it at home. You cannot purchase hot, ready-to-eat pizza with SNAP benefits.

"10 things you can buy with food stamps"

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Buy with Food Stamps

If you liked the list above, check out our video on the 10 surprising things you can buy with your food stamps below.

Can I Buy Sushi with Food Stamps?

Yes, you can purchase Sushi with food stamps benefits if it is from the cold deli section in your grocery store. You can not purchase hot sushi with your food stamp benefits. Similarly, you can only consume sushi at home and not at a restaurant.

Can I Buy Deli Food with Food Stamps?

You are not allowed to use your SNAP benefits to buy food you can eat at the store or hot food in general.

You are only allowed to buy food you are taking home to prepare.

Therefore, when it comes to Deli food, you cannot buy hot or prepared food from the deli such as mac and cheese, chicken or sandwiches, or salad bar items.

However, you can buy deli meats, cheeses, and cold uncooked items from the deli with your SNAP EBT card as long as you are going to take them home to prepare.

What Can I Buy with Food Stamps?

Are you looking for more information on what you can buy with your food stamps? If so, use the list below on what items you can and cannot buy with your EBT card and food stamp benefits.

What Items are Eligible to Buy with EBT?

Households CAN use SNAP benefits to buy:

  • Breads and Cereals
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Meats, Fish and Poultry
  • Dairy Products
  • Seeds and Plants that produce food

What Items are Not Eligible to Buy with EBT?

Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:

  • Beer, Wine, Liquor, Cigarettes or Tobacco
  • Pet Food
  • Soap and Paper Products
  • Household Supplies
  • Vitamins and Medicines
  • Baby Formula and Diapers
  • Ready-to-Eat, Hot Food

Can I buy Pet Food with EBT?

No, you cannot use your food stamps or EBT benefits to buy pet food.

This rule is provided directly from the USDA Website.

If you attempt to use your EBT card to buy pet or dog food, you will be violating the law – which could land you in jail.

While dog food is considered food, your EBT benefits are intended to be used to purchase for human consumption. Therefore, this is why dog food is ineligible for purchase with food stamps.

Buy with Food Stamps Summary

We hope you this article on the 10 Surprising Things you can Buy with Food Stamps was helpful! If you have additional questions about how to use your food stamp benefits, please let us know in the comments section below.

In the meantime, be sure to check out our other articles on SNAP EBT:

Amazon Prime Discount for EBT Cardholders
Free Internet with your EBT Card
Free Government Phones with Food Stamps



2 thoughts on “10 Surprising Things You Can Buy with Food Stamps”

  1. Thanks for the information. I only received a small amount but your postings always inform me of something I wasn’t aware of and I appreciate it. Keep the info coming please. Thank you

    • Hi Joanne,

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! It always makes us feel good when we can provide you with information that you didn’t know before! We are happy to hear you are enjoying our content!

Comments are closed.

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