Does Dollar Store Take EBT? Exploring the Eligibility Criteria and Payment Options

There’s no denying that food costs can eat up a large chunk of your budget. In particular, those who rely on government assistance to make ends meet may feel the pinch when it comes to grocery expenses. Thankfully, there are many cost-saving measures to take advantage of, and one of them is the use of EBT or Electronic Benefits Transfer card. But, here’s the burning question on everyone’s mind – does dollar store take EBT?

For those of you who may not be familiar with the dollar store concept, let me break it down for you. Dollar stores are retail establishments that offer a wide variety of goods at low prices. They’ve become extremely popular in recent years, mainly because of their affordability. You can find everything from kitchen gadgets to toiletries and some even offer fresh produce. So, if you’re looking to stretch your food dollars, finding a dollar store that accepts EBT would be a game-changer.

There may be a bit of mystery surrounding dollar stores for some people, but I can assure you that they’re worth checking out, especially if you’re on a tight budget. But before you head out and start shopping, it’s important to know which dollar stores accept EBT, and more importantly, what goods you can purchase using your card. In this article, we’ll answer the question – does dollar store take EBT? And, we’ll give you an idea of what products you can buy, so you can make the most of your limited budget.

Overview of EBT and Dollar Store

EBT, or Electronic Benefits Transfer, is a federal assistance program that provides aid to low-income households to purchase food. EBT allows for the purchase of a select group of food items, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meats. However, EBT cannot be used to purchase non-food items such as household supplies or hygiene products.

Dollar stores, on the other hand, are known for their low prices on household and personal care products, as well as other various items. Some dollar store chains have a grocery section that offers a limited selection of food items. With this in mind, many people wonder if it is possible to use EBT benefits to purchase items at dollar stores.

Does Dollar Store Take EBT?

  • Dollar General – Dollar General is one of the largest dollar store chains in the country and provides food items at an affordable price. The store allows EBT cardholders to use their benefits to purchase eligible food items at all locations.
  • Dollar Tree – Although Dollar Tree has a grocery section that sells food and other pantry items, the company does not accept EBT benefits in any of its stores.
  • Family Dollar – Family Dollar is another popular dollar store chain that offers a wide variety of household essentials and some grocery items. Some Family Dollar stores accept EBT benefits for food purchases, but not all locations participate in the program.

How to Use EBT at Dollar Stores

If you plan on using your EBT benefits at a dollar store that accepts EBT, it is essential to know the guidelines. With EBT, the use of coupons and discounts is prohibited, which means that these types of promotions cannot be used in conjunction with your EBT benefits.

Additionally, EBT benefits can only be used to purchase food items that are approved by the program. Eligible food items include fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, and bread. Candy, soda, and other non-essential items are not eligible for purchase with EBT benefits.

Dollar StoresEBT Acceptance
Dollar GeneralYes
Dollar TreeNo
Family DollarVaries by location

Dollar stores can serve as a great resource for individuals or families living on a tight budget. Although not all dollar store chains accept EBT benefits, those that do provide individuals with the opportunity to purchase affordable food items.

Eligibility requirements for EBT

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is a program offered by the government to help low-income families meet their food needs. The program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and managed by the individual states. EBT benefits are provided through a debit-like card called the EBT card, which can be used to purchase food items at participating retailers. To be eligible for EBT benefits, individuals must meet certain requirements. These requirements include:

  • Income eligibility: To qualify for EBT benefits, an applicant’s income must be below certain thresholds. The exact income thresholds vary depending on the state, the number of people in the applicant’s household, and other factors. In general, however, the income must be at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Residency eligibility: To be eligible for EBT benefits, applicants must be residents of the state in which they are applying for benefits.
  • Citizenship/immigration status: Only U.S. citizens and certain qualified non-citizens are eligible for EBT benefits.

Additional eligibility requirements for EBT

In addition to the above requirements, some states may have additional eligibility requirements that applicants must meet. These requirements can include:

  • Work requirements: Some states require certain EBT recipients to participate in work or training programs.
  • Asset requirements: Some states have asset limits that EBT applicants must meet to be eligible for benefits. These limits can vary by state and often depend on family size.
  • Age requirements: Some states have age requirements for EBT applicants. For example, elderly or disabled individuals may have different eligibility requirements than younger individuals.

Dollar Store and EBT

Dollar stores are a popular destination for shoppers looking to stretch their dollars. However, not all dollar stores accept EBT payments. The answer to whether or not a dollar store accepts EBT payments generally depends on the individual store and the state in which it is located. Additionally, even if a dollar store accepts EBT, certain items may not be eligible for purchase with EBT funds. The USDA has guidelines for what can and cannot be purchased with EBT funds, and stores that accept EBT payments must adhere to these guidelines.

Items you can buy with EBTItems you cannot buy with EBT
Meat, poultry, and fishAlcohol
Dairy productsTobacco
Bread and cerealHot and prepared foods
Vegetables and fruitsPet food
Snack foods and non-alcoholic beveragesHousehold supplies and personal care items

It is important to note that while the USDA guidelines provide a general framework for what can and cannot be purchased with EBT funds, individual states may have additional restrictions.

Dollar Store chains that accept EBT

For budget-conscious families, dollar stores are a go-to destination for everyday needs. With the rise of online grocery delivery options, some may think that discount stores are no longer accepting EBT/SNAP benefits. However, three major dollar store chains still accept EBT:

  • Dollar General
  • Dollar Tree
  • Family Dollar

Despite the name, dollar stores have expanded their offerings to include more than just $1 items. These stores offer a variety of grocery items, including fresh produce and dairy products. Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar have all continued to accept EBT/SNAP benefits to help low-income families.

According to the USDA, one in nine Americans participated in the SNAP program in 2019. With almost 40 million people using SNAP benefits, it’s important for retailers to provide access to affordable and healthy food options.

To ensure that you can use your EBT card at these stores, be sure to check their website or contact your local store to verify before heading to the checkout line. Some restrictions may apply, and not all stores in every area may accept EBT/SNAP benefits.

Dollar General and EBT/SNAP

Dollar General operates over 15,000 stores in the US, and over 80% of their stores are located in communities with populations of 20,000 or less. Dollar General has continued to expand its grocery offerings, including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. In addition to accepting EBT/SNAP benefits, Dollar General also offers digital coupons and discounts through their app to help customers save on their grocery bill.

Dollar Tree and EBT/SNAP

Dollar Tree offers a variety of items for $1 or less, including food and household items. While their offerings may not be as extensive as some other retailers, Dollar Tree continues to accept EBT/SNAP benefits to help low-income families access affordable food options.

Family Dollar and EBT/SNAP

With over 8,000 stores across the US, Family Dollar is another dollar store chain that accepts EBT/SNAP benefits. Family Dollar offers a wide range of grocery items, including fresh produce, meat, and frozen foods. In addition to their affordable prices, Family Dollar offers weekly sales and digital coupons to further help customers save on their grocery bill.

RetailerAccepted Payment Methods
Dollar GeneralEBT/SNAP, credit/debit cards, cash
Dollar TreeEBT/SNAP, credit/debit cards, cash
Family DollarEBT/SNAP, credit/debit cards, cash

While there are other dollar store chains throughout the US, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar remain top contenders for families using EBT/SNAP benefits. These stores offer a variety of affordable grocery options, and by accepting EBT/SNAP benefits, they provide access to healthy food options for those in need.

Items that can be purchased with EBT at Dollar Store

As the prices of everyday essentials continue to rise, it’s comforting to know that individuals and families who rely on government assistance can use their EBT cards at Dollar Stores. The program is called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and it assists those with low-income. In this article, we will explore some of the items that can be purchased with EBT at Dollar Stores.

Food and Beverages

One of the biggest advantages of shopping at a Dollar Store is the availability of affordable food and beverages. It’s important to note that not all food items can be bought with EBT, as there are certain restrictions on what can and cannot be purchased. For example, hot prepared foods cannot be purchased with EBT. However, the following food and beverage items are generally eligible for purchase:

  • Canned and boxed foods like soup, pasta, and cereal
  • Non-perishable snacks such as cookies, chips, and crackers
  • Beverages, including bottled water, soda, and juice
  • Dry and canned beans
  • Flour, sugar, and other baking essentials

Personal Care Items

Dollar Stores are well-known for offering an array of personal care items at low prices. These items can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to purchases made with EBT. However, some personal care items are eligible for purchase with EBT, including:

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash and soap
  • Toothpaste and dental floss
  • Deodorant

Household Items

Another category of items that can be purchased with EBT at Dollar Stores is household essentials. These items can be used for cleaning or general home maintenance. Eligible household items include the following:

  • Paper products such as paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues
  • Cleaning products like bleach, detergent, and dish soap
  • Trash bags and laundry bags
  • Lightbulbs and batteries
  • Kitchen utensils like forks, spoons, and paper plates


While electronics may not be the first items that come to mind when shopping at Dollar Stores, some electronics can be purchased with EBT. This includes the following items:

Connectivity DevicesComputer mice, keyboards, headphones, and chargers can be purchased with EBT.
Phone AccessoriesPhone cases, screen protectors, and USB charging cords are EBT eligible items.
BatteriesEBT can be used to purchase batteries for electronics.

In conclusion, Dollar Stores can be a great option for those who receive government assistance. By using EBT, individuals and families can purchase a variety of essential items, including food, personal care products, household items, and even some electronics. So next time you visit the Dollar Store, don’t forget to swipe your EBT card to enjoy the benefits that these stores offer!

Items that Cannot be Purchased with EBT at Dollar Store

Shopping at the dollar store can be a great way to save money on everyday essentials, but it’s important to note that not all items can be purchased using EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards.

  • Alcohol: EBT cards cannot be used to purchase any alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, regardless of the store or location.
  • Tobacco: Similarly, EBT cards cannot be used to purchase tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco.
  • Pet Food: While some stores allow EBT benefits to be used for pet food, Dollar Store is not one of them and pet food cannot be purchased using EBT cards.

It’s important to note that EBT cards can only be used to purchase food items that are meant to be consumed by people. This means that household essentials like cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items cannot be purchased using EBT cards, even if they are sold at the dollar store.

For a complete list of eligible and ineligible items, refer to the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) guidelines.

Eligible EBT ItemsIneligible EBT Items
Meat and poultryAlcoholic beverages
Dairy productsTobacco products
Bread and cerealsHousehold items
Fruits and vegetablesPersonal hygiene items
Snack foods and non-alcoholic beveragesPet food

It’s important to be aware of what items can and cannot be purchased with EBT cards when shopping at the dollar store. By doing so, you can make the most of your benefits while still saving money on everyday essentials.

Limits on EBT transactions at Dollar Store

If you are a recipient of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, you can use your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to purchase eligible food items at a dollar store. However, there are limits on EBT transactions at Dollar Store that you need to be aware of before you shop.

  • You cannot use your EBT card to buy non-food items such as cleaning supplies, toiletries, or clothing at the Dollar Store. EBT benefits are intended to be used for food purchases only.
  • There are limits on how much you can spend per transaction with your EBT card. Each state has its own limits, and they can vary based on factors such as the size of your household. For example, in California, the maximum amount you can spend per transaction at a Dollar Store with your EBT card is $140.
  • Keep in mind that Dollar Store may not accept EBT cards from all states. Check with the store’s customer service staff or contact your state’s EBT customer service line to find out if EBT is accepted at your local Dollar Store.

It’s important to carefully read the label of the items you want to purchase to ensure they are eligible for EBT purchases. You may need to know the Universal Product Code (UPC) of the item, which you can find on the store shelf or on the packaging.

Here is a table of some of the eligible food items you can purchase at Dollar Store with your EBT card:

Eligible Food Items
Bread and cereals
Fruits and vegetables
Meat, poultry, and fish
Dairy products
Snack foods, candy, and soft drinks
Seeds and plants to grow food at home

Remember, EBT benefits are meant to be a supplement to your food budget, not your entire budget. Use your benefits wisely, stay within your limits, and make the most of your dollar store purchases.

How to Use EBT at Dollar Store

If you’re a recipient of SNAP benefits, also known as EBT, and wondering if you can use them at your local dollar store, the answer is yes! Dollar stores are classified as grocery stores and accept EBT as a form of payment. Here’s how to use EBT at a Dollar Store:

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Step 1: Locate your nearest Dollar Store that accepts EBT. You can use the SNAP retailer locator search tool on the USDA website to find a store near you.
  • Step 2: Shop for eligible items. Only certain food items are eligible for EBT payment, such as fresh produce, dairy products, bread, and meat. Non-food items like cleaning supplies, toiletries, and household goods are not eligible.
  • Step 3: Head to the checkout counter. Provide your EBT card to the cashier.
  • Step 4: Enter your PIN. Similar to using a debit card, you will need to enter your four-digit PIN to complete the transaction.
  • Step 5: Review your receipt. It’s essential to review your receipt to ensure the correct items were charged to your EBT card.

Benefits of Using EBT at Dollar Store

One of the significant advantages of using EBT at dollar stores is getting more for your money. Dollar stores often sell groceries at a lower price due to the nature of their business model. Additionally, many dollar stores offer fresh produce and dairy products at cheaper prices compared to traditional grocery stores.

Another benefit is convenience. Dollar stores are typically located in neighborhoods that might not have easy access to larger grocery stores. By accepting EBT, dollar stores provide access to affordable groceries and basic necessities for those who need it most.

EBT Payment Limits at Dollar Stores

It is essential to note that there are limits to the amount of EBT funds that can be used at dollar stores. The SNAP program has rules and regulations on eligible items, and there are restrictions on the type of food and household items that can be bought with EBT. It’s also crucial to review the available balance on your EBT card to avoid overspending.


Easy to use.
Budget-friendly prices.
Transparent spending.
Sustainable living.

Using EBT at dollar stores is an excellent way to stretch your food budget while still getting access to fresh and healthy food items. Follow the above steps, review your available balance, and enjoy the convenience and benefits of using EBT at your local dollar store.

Pros and Cons of Using EBT at Dollar Store

Using EBT at Dollar Store can have its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons to consider before making your purchase:

  • Pros:
  • You can purchase food items at lower prices compared to other stores.
  • Dollar Stores are often located in convenient areas.
  • They have a wide variety of products available including fresh produce.
  • Using EBT can help save money that can be used for other necessities.
  • Cons:
  • Dollar Stores may not have the same quality of products compared to other stores.
  • Some stores may have limited selection of food items available.
  • EBT cannot be used to purchase non-food items such as toiletries or cleaning supplies.
  • Dollar Stores may not accept all types of EBT cards, so it’s best to check before making a purchase.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to use EBT at Dollar Store. While there are certainly financial benefits to using EBT, it’s also important to prioritize the quality and variety of products you’re purchasing.

In addition to considering the pros and cons, here are some other key things to keep in mind when using EBT at Dollar Store:

First, make sure to check with the store before making your purchase to ensure that they accept EBT. While many Dollar Stores do accept it, it’s not a given.

Second, if you have specific dietary needs or preferences, be sure to check the ingredients list before purchasing any food items. While many Dollar Stores offer a variety of fresh produce, it’s important to ensure that items are high-quality and meet your specific needs.

Third, when using EBT, be mindful of your budget and only purchase items that you actually need. While Dollar Stores may offer low prices, it’s important to avoid overspending and prioritize purchasing healthy, nutritious food items.

Lower prices on food itemsPossibly lower quality of products
Convenient store locationsLimited selection of food items
Wide variety of products availableCannot purchase non-food items
Saves money that can be used for other necessitiesMay not accept all types of EBT cards

Overall, using EBT at Dollar Store can be a cost-effective way to purchase food items. However, it’s important to take the pros and cons into consideration and make informed purchases that prioritize both affordability and quality.

EBT fraud prevention measures at Dollar Store

As a retailer that accepts electronic benefit transfer (EBT) payments, Dollar Stores are required to implement EBT fraud prevention measures. These measures ensure that EBT funds are being used for their intended purpose and that customers are not abusing the system or committing fraud. Dollar Stores take EBT fraud prevention seriously and have implemented the following measures:

  • 1. Verification of EBT Cards: All EBT cards are verified to ensure they are valid and belong to the customer who is attempting to use them.
  • 2. Purchase Limits: Dollar Stores have implemented purchase limits for certain items that are commonly abused, such as alcohol and tobacco products. These limits ensure that customers are not using their EBT cards to purchase items that are not allowed under the program.
  • 3. Register Training: Dollar Stores provide extensive training to their employees on how to properly process EBT transactions and detect fraud.

In addition to these measures, Dollar Stores also work closely with state EBT agencies to identify potential cases of fraud and abuse. These agencies routinely monitor EBT transactions and investigate any suspicious activity.

Here is a table detailing some common types of EBT fraud that Dollar Stores work to prevent:

EBT Fraud TypeDescription
Selling EBT CardsIndividuals sell their EBT cards to others for cash or other items. This is also known as trafficking and is illegal.
Double-DippingCustomers use both their EBT card and cash to purchase items, resulting in unauthorized purchases and abuse of the system.
False ClaimsCustomers make false claims to obtain EBT benefits or use their EBT card for unauthorized purposes.

By implementing these EBT fraud prevention measures, Dollar Stores are able to ensure that the program is being used for its intended purpose and that customers in need are receiving the assistance they require.

Impact of EBT acceptance on Dollar Store business

Dollar stores have become a staple in low-income neighborhoods and have been a go-to for shoppers looking for quality products at a discount. However, not all shoppers have access to cash or credit to make purchases, which is where EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) comes in. EBT is a government assistance program that provides funds for eligible low-income families to buy groceries and other basic needs.

Here are the top 3 impacts of EBT acceptance on Dollar Store businesses:

Increased sales and foot traffic

  • By accepting EBT, Dollar Stores can tap into a new customer base of low-income families who rely on EBT for their daily necessities. This means increased sales and foot traffic, especially during times of economic hardship.
  • Customers who may not have considered shopping at Dollar Stores before may now choose to do so because they can use their EBT benefits here.
  • According to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, EBT redemptions at retailers have been on the rise since 2015, with a total of $71.8 billion redeemed in 2019.

Higher regulatory compliance and standards

Accepting EBT means that Dollar Stores must comply with certain regulatory rules and standards set forth by the USDA to ensure that EBT funds are being used for eligible food and household items. These rules may include maintaining accurate records of transactions and keeping track of expiration dates for products.

By enforcing these regulations, Dollar Stores are held to a higher standard of quality and compliance, which can benefit both the business and the customers by ensuring that the products being sold are safe and meet the necessary requirements.

Education and outreach opportunities

Accepting EBT can also provide Dollar Stores with opportunities to educate and outreach to their customers about healthy eating and budgeting. The USDA offers nutrition education programs to retailers and can provide them with resources to help promote healthy eating habits to their customers.

Dollar Stores can also use their position in the community to reach out to their customers and provide resources and information on budgeting and financial management. By offering these services, Dollar Stores can improve the overall well-being of their customers and contribute to their success.

The Bottom Line

Increased sales and foot trafficHigher regulatory compliance and standards
Opportunities for education and outreachPotential for increased regulatory scrutiny and fines

While accepting EBT can come with some added responsibilities, the potential benefits for Dollar Stores can far outweigh the cons. By tapping into a new customer base, adhering to higher regulatory standards, and offering education and outreach opportunities, Dollar Stores have the potential to not only improve their business but also contribute to the well-being of the community they serve.

FAQs: Does Dollar Store Take EBT?

Q: Does Dollar Store accept EBT cards?

A: Yes, most Dollar Stores accept EBT cards, but it may vary depending on your location and what kind of products you are purchasing.

Q: What kind of products can I buy with EBT at Dollar Store?

A: You can buy food items such as snacks, sauces, canned foods, and non-alcoholic beverages. You can also purchase hygiene and cleaning items, but not non-food items like clothes or electronics.

Q: Can I use EBT to buy Dollar Store gift cards?

A: No, EBT cards cannot be used to buy gift cards, including Dollar Store gift cards.

Q: Do all Dollar Stores participate in EBT programs?

A: Most major Dollar Store chains do participate in EBT programs, but you should check with your local store to confirm.

Q: How do I use EBT at Dollar Store?

A: You will need to let the cashier know that you are paying with EBT and swipe your EBT card like you would a debit card. All eligible items will be deducted from your balance.

Q: Can I use my EBT card at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar?

A: Yes, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, which are both owned by the same company, also accept EBT cards.

Q: Are there any limitations on what I can buy with EBT at Dollar Store?

A: Yes, there are some restrictions. You cannot purchase prepared food, hot food, or food that will be consumed in the store. Additionally, you cannot use EBT to buy alcohol or tobacco.

Closing: Thanks for Reading About EBT at Dollar Store!

We hope you found these FAQs helpful in answering your questions about EBT at Dollar Store. Remember to check with your local store to confirm their specific policies on EBT acceptance. Thanks for reading, and come back soon for more useful tips and information!