You won’t believe these surprising things you can buy with EBT on Amazon! Believe it or not, everything on this table was marked SNAP EBT eligible on the day I bought it! Let’s talk about what I bought, how I found it, and why it works.
Amazon is a great place to shop with EBT.
For years, I’ve been telling you about how you can get a HUGE discount on Amazon Prime if you have EBT or Medicaid. And it’s still true – if you participate in an eligible program, you can get Amazon Prime for just $6.99 per month instead of the usual $14.99 per month!
They’ve even expanded the number of qualifying programs, so that you can get this discount if you get WIC, TANF or TTANF, SSI, NSLP, Medicaid, LIHEAP, EIP Cards and more. It’s a great deal that saves a lot of people a lot of money so I highly recommend it – and not just because I’m an Amazon affiliate.
Since they started accepting EBT years ago, Amazon has also expanded their offerings to include thousands of products that are hard to find anywhere else, including EBT-eligible seeds and plants! It’s a great place to shop with food stamps if you’re looking for a convenient and easy check-out and home delivery process.
But there’s a problem.
Over the years, I’ve heard over and over again that there just isn’t that much that you can buy on Amazon with EBT. So the other day, I decided to check it out and what I found, frankly, shocked me.
I dug through HUNDREDS of pages of Amazon listings and discovered that there is actually a lot of really surprising things you can buy with EBT on Amazon… but not all of it makes sense.
Why can you buy this stuff?
Strictly speaking, the USDA says you can use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to buy “any food for the household,” but you cannot buy non-food items. You’re supposed to purchase food for human consumption only.
The law states, “The term “food” means any food or food product for human consumption except alcoholic beverages, tobacco, those foods which are identified on the package as being imported, and meat and meat products which are imported.”
Now, there are some situations where you can buy items that aren’t strictly food. As we covered in another post, you’re allowed to purchase seeds, produce-bearing plants, and even gift baskets when at least half the basket’s value comes from eligible food items.
That’s the rule: at least half the value of the non-food item must be from the food.
That creates a bit of a gray area. Many of the EBT-eligible items I found on Amazon fall into that gray area.
However, some of the items I found were clearly mistakes. With a retailer as big and complicated as Amazon, there’s bound to be glitches in the system. According to Amazon’s EBT question and answer section, “The Grocery and Gourmet Food category on Amazon features pantry staples, shelf-stable food and household items available nationwide.”
When I spoke with an Amazon rep, they also indicated that the food items in the Grocery and Gourmet Food category should be EBT eligible. I’m not entirely sure how something like hair dye ends up in the food category, but I think that’s probably part of the reason why there are so many surprising things you can buy with EBT on Amazon.
Before we begin…
I don’t work for Amazon and I don’t fully understand how these glitches happen. I do know that Amazon works hard to identify and correct those mistakes, because some of these items were only EBT eligible for a short time.
Before we get into our list, I want to be perfectly and completely clear about something:
I will NEVER encourage you to use your benefits illegally. I do NOT recommend buying items that are clearly ineligible with your food stamps. This content is for informational and entertainment purposes only.
Although I did not purchase any of these items with EBT, I did make sure they were all marked EBT-eligible at the time of purchase. However, these things frequently change (especially for items that fall into that gray area we discussed). These items may not be EBT-eligible at the time you are reading this, so you should always check each Amazon listing for that SNAP EBT Eligible label.
What are the most surprising things you can buy with EBT on Amazon?
Now, without further ado, let’s go over the craziest EBT-eligible items I found on Amazon this month. We’ll start with the cheapest and work our way up to the most expensive.
If you’re looking for an up-to-date list of surprising things you can buy with EBT on Amazon, be sure to check this link!
#12 – Toys that Include Food
As a homeschool mom, I love a good science activity and I think this is an awesome thing for low income families to be able to enjoy with their kids.
Since these kits produce edible food, they are apparently eligible to purchase with food stamps. I picked up a few, including a Gross Gummy Candy Lab, a few Popin Cookin kits and even a full Candy Chemistry kit! The kits ranged in price from $6 to $39.
#11 – Toys that Look Like Food
This cute Cotton Candy Color Mix Surprise slime toy is marked EBT eligible on Amazon, I think because it looks like food. It’s $10 and the listing is littered with food keywords like “lollipop” and “cotton candy,” so if Amazon is relying on AI to classify EBT-eligible items this probably confused the algorithm into thinking it was food.
You have to read the fine print to discover that the Cotton Candy Color Mix is not actually food and should not be eaten.
#10 – Chia Pets
This one surprised me! I mean, I know you can buy seeds and produce-bearing plants with EBT but… chia pets? I never really thought about them as edible before but this $20 Chia Pet Troll was marked EBT-eligible on Amazon.
This was one of the most surprising things you can buy with EBT on Amazon at first (at least to me), but I think it’s because chia seeds and sprouts are generally edible. This Troll-themed chia pet was the only EBT-eligible one I found on Amazon, though, so your choices do seem to be limited… but if you want to grow your sprouts on a Troll head, then go for it.
#9 – Weight Loss Supplements
Amazon has a great selection of EBT-eligible weight loss products. The average price was around $20, although some were as low as $10 and some were $40 or more. These products are usually considered meal replacements, which is why they are EBT eligible at Amazon and most other retailers as well.
#8 – Dog Treats
This is an apparent glitch that is very difficult to fix for some reason. This pack of Cadet Gourmet Twists sometimes appears EBT-Eligible and sometimes does not. It just depends on when you look, I guess.
Unfortunately, the USDA specifically says that pet food is not eligible for purchase with food stamps so this item should not be labelled EBT eligible.
I can understand this glitch though because at a distance, one of my kids thought these were some sort of snack food so… maybe the Amazon AI got confused, too? I don’t know.
#7 – Kinder Joy Eggs
Depending on where you live, this may be one of the most surprising things you can buy with EBT on Amazon.
Kinder Joy eggs are somewhat controversial when it comes to EBT. Are they food or a toy?
Most of the time, it depends on where you’re shopping. Since this is one of those gray areas that we talked about, some stores mark them as EBT eligible and others don’t. On Amazon, this $25 bulk package was marked EBT-eligible.
#6 – Games that Include Food
Some games have food elements, like this $26 Truth or Dab hot sauce game. The description says, “This game consists of 250 questions that pit players against each other, burn bridges, and bring up past stories we were all trying to forget.”
The hot sauce has a 10/10 heat level and is scored at over 2 million Scoville’s, so this game is probably not the best family game night idea…
#5 – Flowering Tea Set
For $26, this tea set includes a 16 ounce glass teapot and five tea blossoms. I don’t drink tea myself but I find this item fascinating.
The description says, “When steeped in hot water, these rare Leaves of Art slowly blossom into a bouquet of breathtaking shapes and exquisite flavors… Why just drink your tea when you can watch it bloom.”
It must be a popular purchase for EBT shoppers, because it was marked Amazon’s Choice for EBT Tea Gift Set.
#4 – Decorating Supplies
My daughter is really into baking and decorating lately, so she was really excited to see me unpack this sugar cookie decorating kit. At $29, the set includes a cookie tool set, icing bottle, icing colors and meringue powder. I actually took the time to price out the items individually and it was very clear that the edible components – the food coloring and meringue powder – were worth at least half the value of the set, so it does appear that this should be a legitimate EBT purchase.
I also picked up this $12 Royal Icing 101 kit that was almost marked EBT eligible, so she’s going to have a lot of fun with this.
#3 – Expensive Gift Crates
According to the USDA, you can buy certain gift baskets as long as at least half of the value of the item comes from the food inside. That’s obviously been a recurring theme in this post as well.
As a result, Amazon has a TON of special gift crates that are marked EBT-eligible. Some include non-food items like baskets, floral arrangements, socks, and even a beautiful keepsake mahogany photo box. That definitely puts these among the most shocking things you can buy with EBT on Amazon!
#2 – $210 Coffee Maker
This has been an on-again, off-again deal that sometimes appears EBT eligible and sometimes doesn’t. The Breville Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine is sold with several sample coffees and espresso capsules, so it does technically include food items. It promises barista-grade coffee at the push of a button. I did not buy this item but I have seen many, many posts on social media from people who did successfully purchase this with EBT.
#1 – $1,000 Caviar
Shockingly, that coffee maker is not even the most expensive thing I found that was EBT-Eligible on Amazon. That honor belongs to a single pound of Kaluga Caviar, which was selling for $1,031.59 at the time I assembled this post.