For many beneficiaries on the food stamp program, there are an equal if not increasing amount of individuals against certain food stamp options. One of the most common debates seen amongst their beneficiaries and offensive opponents is the food stamp coupon debate. This debate centers on the concept of using coupons and coupon rewards programs in order to stretch not only food stamp benefits but also stretch monthly budgeting. This debate has led to many questions including the following.
Is the Use of Coupons Legal for Food Stamp Beneficiaries?
The big question is the legality of using coupons with food stamps. The truth of the matter is, that currently within the United States the use of coupons is completely legal for those individuals paying with a food stamp benefits card, more commonly known as the EBT card. The EBT card, and the benefits held on that card, are treated by stores as a debit purchase. In fact, many stores will inform individuals that running a bank debit card, prepaid debit card or EBT card will show up all the same. The only difference is, the EBT card will take off a certain amount for taxes at the end of the total. Since EBT card is viewed as a standard debit purchase for cash transaction, coupons can be used with food stamp benefits.
Is There a Limit to the Number of Coupons for Food Stamp Beneficiaries?
Currently there is no limit to the number of coupons for food stamp beneficiaries, because there is no limit to the number of coupons for any other food purchase. The only limitations placed on coupons are the limitations placed by the grocery store its self. For example, many grocery stores will only allow a certain number of coupons for a particular purchase. Other grocery stores will allow multiple coupons for particular purchases but will not allow you to stack coupons. Stacking coupons means using a manufacturer coupon along with an in-store coupon or an in-store sale to maximize the savings on that item. It is up to the grocery store regarding how many coupons may be used, the amount that is doubled on coupons and if coupons will have a double coupon days or triple coupon days.
How Does a Food Stamp Beneficiary Take Advantage of Coupons to Stretch Their Benefits?
A food stamp beneficiary can use coupons just like any other individual using coupons. The best ways for a food stamp beneficiary to take advantage of coupons to stretch their benefits is to do sales matching. Sale matching means using the current grocery store sales flyers to locate the best sales during that week or time frame. Once the sales have been determined, someone using coupons would match their coupons to the sales. When the sales have been matched to the coupons, the individual may go a step further and choose to shop on the day of double or triple coupons. Remember, the double and triple coupons are only offered based on the store and may not be offered at every store location. In addition to utilizing sales flyers, double or triple coupon days, matching the coupons and using food stamps the beneficiary may also choose to use a reward store card to take off even more savings.
Though the method of using coupons come under a lot of fire and debates it is one of the leading ways for a beneficiary to help stretch their food stamps. Between the use of coupons, cashing in on drugstore sales and utilizing the best days to shop a food stamp beneficiary can stretch their benefits to last days or even weeks longer than they would without these options.