Coupons and Food Assistance?

Bridge Card Michigan
Bridge Card
One question I’ve seen floating around on couponing boards is can you use your food benefits with coupons? I mean, if you can pair coupons with government benefits you will truly getting the bang for your buck. I have seen kids at 7-11 using their food stamps to buy $11.00 worth of junk, that would have cost them only $4.00 at Kroger or Meijers. Why should you have to have cash to purchase food? Shouldn’t people on food assistance be able to stretch their dollar just as far?
The first place I thought I’d look was the DHS website in Michigan. They have a “handbook” that goes with their food benefits – but as you flip through the pamphlet there is no mention of coupons.

From what I’ve been able to find in most of the boards it varies from state to state and there really isn’t a clear answer. That is until I came upon an article on a blog from this January from Monroe County.

“Hint: it is in your best interest to use sales, coupons, cook-from-scratch tactics, shopper loyalty cards and rebates as much as possible to stretch the food stamp funds. There are too many food stamp families who run out of groceries before they run out of month.

And even though the food stamp allocation arrives once a month, try to split it up so your shopping for the month is not all done the same week. There will be grocery sales on different items the third week of the month as compared to what is on sale the first week of the month.”

The blog also has great tips for starting beginners to couponing and tips for people who are on food assistance and can’t afford newspapers.

If you or someone you know is on is on food benefits in Michigan, and wants to start couponing or has other questions have them check out this page.

While this varies from state to state, it appears you should be able to use coupons with food benefits in Michigan. Remember couponing is not a “rich persons game” like previously thought – everyone should take advantage of their chance to save money and stretch their dollar the furthest they can.

If you question if you can use your food benefits with coupons – check with your case worker, ask a manager at the local store or give it a shot with one item at the store.

Happy Shopping!


  1. Thank you for the link love!
    One of my long-time readers, by the way, was couponing long before she and her family went on food stamps. She didn’t drop her couponing habits because she was on Michigan Bridge Card – she continued to coupon so that she could fill her pantry and freezer. That alone to me was testimony that it could be done, and I would have never thought people would think you can’t coupon on food stamps until I saw questions coming up on the web.
    The coupon method I teach / and which this post links to is an old school method that happens to be very friendly to the food stamp crowd. You need only a source of coupons (ask your friends / family / co-workers for the coupons they don’t need… or find / set up a community swap box). I don’t rely on coupon databases, matchup lists or “buying” coupons from a clipping source.


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