With Valentine’s Day 2023 just a few days away, I just had to share these 10 incredible EBT-eligible Valentine’s Day Gifts that I found on Amazon and from other retailers.
Can you buy Valentine’s Day gifts with EBT?
Yes! You can buy Valentine’s Day candy and even certain gift baskets with EBT. The rules are very strict, but we’ll explain them for you in detail so that you can easily identify what Valentine’s Day gifts can be purchased with EBT.
There’s been a lot of confusion over the years about what EBT can and cannot buy. Most people know that you can use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to purchase eligible food items, including candy… but did you know that you can also use those benefits to purchase eligible gift baskets?
According to the USDA, you can use SNAP benefits to purchase eligible gift baskets “if the value of the nonfood part of the item clearly accounts for more than 50 percent of the purchase price.” If the majority of the item’s value is edible, then it may be eligible for purchase with EBT if the store has set it up to be processed that way.
The USDA explains it this way:
For example, a stuffed holiday bear sold with a small package of chocolate would not be eligible for SNAP purchase, as the value of the stuffed animal is clearly greater than the small amount of candy. However, a gift basket consisting primarily of meats and cheeses or snack foods, and includes a small toy – where the cost of the food items clearly accounts for more than 50 percent of the purchase price of the item – would be eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits.SOURCE: ask.usda.gov
This means that a large box of chocolates with a small stuffed bear may be EBT eligible, even if a large bear with a small box of chocolates isn’t.
However, retailers have to carefully evaluate this when marking which items are EBT-eligible. After all, the USDA has recently expanded their guidance to offer more clarity on this subject. I’m assuming that the update, which was issued January 4, was in response to some of the more elaborate EBT-eligible Valentine’s Day gifts, baskets and boxes that we’ve spotted on Amazon.
The USDA elaborted:
The price of the container (i.e. basket, tin, stocking, etc.) is included when calculating the amount of nonfood items.SOURCE: ask.usda.gov
That’s bad news for some of the beautiful, elaborate gift baskets that have been marked EBT eligible in the past.
It’s also important to note that you cannot buy gift baskets with EBT if they contain ineligible items such as alcohol, cigarettes, pet food or other specifically excluded items that are not allowed to be bought with SNAP benefits.
10 EBT-Eligible Valentine’s Day gifts on Amazon
Amazon is one of my favorite places to shop for EBT-eligible gifts. They have a wide selection and, unlike your local retailer, they plainly label what can and cannot be purchased with EBT.
This labelling eliminates that awkward moment at the cash register when you know something should be able to be purchased with EBT but your cashier disagrees. We’ve had that disagreement more than once (ironically, usually over plants) and it’s always uncomfortable. Shopping on Amazon helps avoid that awkwardness.
Additionally, Amazon offers an incredible EBT discount for low income customers. If you have EBT, you can get Amazon Prime for just $6.99 instead of the usual $14.99, which is a great deal. A lot of our readers use Amazon Prime’s streaming service instead of TV, which helps them save a bundle.
Other programs that qualify for this discount include:
- Direct Express Prepaid Debit Card
- National School Lunch Program
You can claim your Amazon discount here.
Broadway Basketeers Photo Gift Box – $39.95
The Broadway Baskeeters Photo Gift Box is one of my favorite EBT-eligible Valentine’s Day gifts on Amazon. I’ve bought this one myself and we’ve featured it in some of our videos about surprising things you can buy with EBT on Amazon. It is a gorgeous photo box filled with several fun treats.
To be fair, I’m not entirely convinced that this one legitimately passes the litmus test established by the USDA’s new guidance, in which the container must also be included in the 50% valuation. However, as of this publication, it is still marked as an EBT-eligible Valentine’s Day gift on Amazon.
Back to the Roots Reusable Fabric Grow Bed – $19.98
Thrill the gardener in your life with an easy-to-use growing bed for their 2023 garden! The Back to the Roots Reusable Fabric Grow Bed gives you three square feet of growing space. That’s enough space for you to grow 3 large vegetables, or 9-12 herbs or leafy greens, or 18-24 small root vegetables!
The heather gray weatherproof fabric is lightweight and portable, stores easily, but is durable enough to last multiple seasons.
Since it’s marked EBT-eligible on Amazon, I assume it includes EBT-eligible seeds but I could not find any mention of that in the product description.
4-Box Gourmet Food Gift Tower – $27.95
Flowers are a popular Valentine’s Day gift, but unfortunately you can only buy live produce-bearing plants and seeds with your EBT benefits. However, this floral gift box has the visual appeal of flowers and the sweet taste of chocolate, so it checks all the standard Valentine’s Day boxes.
If you’re looking for EBT-Eligible Valentine’s Day gifts, this is also one of the cheapest. The four-box set is just $27.95.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Gift Tower – $33
The Ghirardelli Chocolate Gift Tower will thrill any chocolate lover or anyone who is sentimental about the city of San Francisco. I happen to be both, so I was thrilled to find this beautiful blue boxed set on Amazon today.
It is sold from Wine Country Gift Baskets, which offers many different EBT-eligible Valentine’s Day gifts. I highly recommend browsing their offerings if you’re looking for the perfect gift for your loved one this year.
Gourmet Cheeseboard Gift Set – $34.61
This 8-piece cheeseboard gift set includes a beautiful cutting board and an adorable little knife that can be reused again and again. The treats include a savory beef stick, smoked cheese, pretzels, and more.
I’ve ordered this previously and shown it in our videos. If you’d like to see it unboxed, make sure to visit our YouTube channel and check out our videos about all the shocking things you can buy with EBT.
Love Berries (12 Count) – $36.51
Chocolate covered strawberries are not cheap but they are a hallmark of the Valentine’s Day season. There are several varieties on Amazon that are marked EBT-eligible. All of them have an extra shipping fee because they must be shipped cold in order to stay fresh for your loved one.
This 12-count box from Love Berries includes decorative sprinkles and pink chocolate swirls, making one of the best seasonal EBT-eligible Valentine’s Day gifts I found today.
Village Date Night Gift Box – $89
Gift your beloved with everything needed to create a romantic Italian dinner at home! This date night gift box includes handmade pasta, gourmet sauce, crackers, cheese spreads, cookies and more.
I think this is a lovely idea but personally I don’t think it’s worth the price. This is easily the most expensive of the EBT-eligible Valentine’s Day gifts that I saw. You could easily acquire these ingredients at your local grocery store for far less and maybe add a sparkling cider or some strawberries to make it an even more romantic meal.
However, it’s a fun idea so I wanted to include it as well. Maybe it’ll inspire you to create your own romantic dinner at home!