Discovering What I Can Buy With EBT Card

Wondering what you can purchase with an EBT card? Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards are used by individuals and families who qualify for government assistance programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to buy food and other essentials. Here is a breakdown of what you can and cannot buy with an EBT card.


One of the primary uses of an EBT card is to purchase groceries, including:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat and poultry
  • Seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Grains and bread

Non-Food Items

While EBT cards are mainly used for food purchases, there are some non-food items that are allowed, such as:

  • Seeds and plants for growing food
  • Energy drinks (in some states)

What You Cannot Buy

It’s important to note that EBT cards cannot be used to purchase certain items, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco products
  • Hot prepared foods
  • Vitamins and supplements

Farmer’s Markets

Many farmer’s markets now accept EBT cards, allowing cardholders to purchase fresh produce directly from local farmers. This initiative not only supports local agriculture but also provides access to healthy foods for EBT users.

Online Purchases

Several online grocery retailers now accept EBT cards, making it easier for cardholders to shop for groceries from the comfort of their homes. This option is especially convenient for individuals with mobility issues or those living in food deserts.

Recipients with Disabilities

Individuals receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits due to disabilities may qualify for the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), which allows them to purchase hot meals from participating restaurants using their EBT cards. This program aims to provide access to nutritious meals for those who may have difficulty cooking at home.

Understanding what you can buy with an EBT card is essential for making the most of your benefits and ensuring that you have access to the food and necessities you need. By following the guidelines and restrictions set in place, you can use your EBT card wisely to support your well-being and that of your family.