Can You Buy Tea With EBT? Everything You Need to Know
This information is current as of April 14, 2022.
Thousands of families use Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards to help purchase food with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits every month. Since you can buy groceries with EBT cards, you might be wondering, “Can you buy tea with food stamps?”
Buying items such as tea and coffee with SNAP EBT can be tricky. You can use your EBT card to purchase tea bags, packaged, and bottled teas at stores that accept SNAP EBT, like Walmart, Target, or Amazon. You can also use EBT to buy bags of coffee, bottled or premade cans or bottles of coffee, and tea and coffee pods and K-cups.
For the tea on tea, read on!
What Can You Buy With an EBT Card?
Before the late ’90s, SNAP gave out its monthly benefits in paper coupons called food stamps. EBT, a much more efficient debit card system, has since replaced the food stamp program. Today, some people still refer to SNAP benefits or EBT as food stamps. You may even notice the term “food stamps” on signs in stores alerting customers the store accepts SNAP EBT Food Stamp Benefits.
If you’re a SNAP recipient, you most likely know that your EBT card can only be used to buy food items at participating stores. The government says you can purchase meats, dairy, cereals, bread, vegetables, fruit, and non-alcoholic drinks. Acceptable items can be bought in-store through curbside pickup or grocery delivery services.
Alcohol, household products, tobacco, hot meals, hygiene products, pet food, and additional non-food cannot be purchased with your EBT card.
Can You Buy Hot Tea or Iced Tea With EBT?
The official USDA website says you can buy the following drinks, including hot tea and iced or cold tea, with SNAP EBT benefits:
- Hot coffee
- Iced coffee
- Fountain drinks
- Smoothies and more
The website also states that cold drinks and other similar items are eligible for SNAP EBT purchase when intended for home consumption.
A drink that may be sipped while standing in line does not render it ineligible if it is not otherwise intended for consumption on store premises.
Hot drinks (coffee, lattes, tea, etc.) are not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits.
What Brands of Tea Can You Buy With EBT?
According to Amazon’s SNAP EBT-eligible items, boxes of tea bags include a range of lower-priced brands such as Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings, and Lipton to higher-priced name brands like Harney & Sons and Taylors of Harrogate.
You can use EBT to buy bottled iced teas such as Pure Leaf Iced Tea, Honest Tea, and Bai Iced Tea, just to name a few. Additionally, iced tea mixes and K-cup tea or pods can also be purchased using your EBT card.
Where Can You Buy Tea With EBT?
You can buy iced tea mix, beverages sold in bottles, tea pods or k-cups, and boxes of tea bags at stores and online retailers that accept SNAP EBT benefits—wondering if Dollar Stores take SNAP EBT benefits? Check here.
How to Keep Track of Your EBT Balance
Sticking within a budget means it’s essential to keep track of your SNAP EBT balance. Here’s how to check your balance, make sure you have money to buy food for the month, and see if you have any benefits that will roll over to the next month.
Every state manages its SNAP program differently. You’ll need to check with yours to see how you can keep track of your balance. The SNAP directory makes it easy to locate your state’s program.
Visit your state’s SNAP web page and look for a section about the EBT card or an online account. You’ll probably have to sign up by creating a username and password. You may have already done this when your card was given to you. Then, log on to your state’s EBT portal to manage your benefits and see your balance.
There’s a chance that your state’s EBT card has a customer service number on the back. You can call this phone number to find out your balance. There’s a good chance they will ask for your PIN and complete card number, so you may want to have both on hand when calling.
If you need to unfreeze your SNAP account, there’s info about how to do that here.
Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service
Are you looking for assistance with your wireless phone service? You’re eligible for Lifeline or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) when you qualify for government benefit programs like SNAP. Both Lifeline and ACP are government programs that help low-income consumers receive free or heavily discounted communication services.
Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.