An estimated 38 million Americans use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, previously called food stamps.
This food credit helps families put meals on the table and keeps bellies filled, and recipients use the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system to receive funds.
With their super low prices and great quality items, plus an ever-expanding presence in the States, you might be wondering does supermarket Aldi take EBT. Here’s all the information you need.
Does Aldi take EBT?
Aldi does take EBT at all of their 2,000+ stores in 36 states around the country. Recipients can only use EBT to purchase approved food and beverage items, both in-store at the registers and now online, for delivery and pick-up, via the app Instacart.
Keep reading if you want to know more about what you can and can’t buy at Aldi with SNAP, how to use SNAP benefits online, plus more!
What Can You Buy At Aldi With EBT?
Your SNAP benefits will take you far if used strategically at Aldi. This store is famous for its low-priced, high-quality foods, many of which are accepted by federally set guidelines. They must simply be food and food products made for humans.
Things you can buy via EBT at Aldi include:
- Fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables and fruits
- Fresh, frozen, and canned meats, including beef, poultry, and pork
- Fresh, frozen, and canned seafood
- Dairy products, like milk, cheese (sliced, shredded, block, etc.), butter, and yogurt
- Snacks, like chips, pretzels, crackers, and nuts
- Pretty much anything from the freezer aisle, including potato products, pizza, etc.
- Desserts from the bakery section, like cake, pie, and cookies
- Candy (bar form, individually wrapped, etc.)
- Baking items, like flour, oil, sugar, etc.
SNAP benefits also cover seeds and seedlings which can be gardened and turned into food.
Additionally, Aldi gets these occasionally throughout the year as part of their ALDI Finds series.
What Can’t You Buy At Aldi With EBT?
Despite so much that you can buy at Aldi with EBT, there are still some items that remain ineligible.
First and foremost, in stores that sell alcohol, those six-packs and bottles of wine cannot be purchased with EBT.
Pet food, which Aldi sells for dogs and cats, is ineligible.
Household goods, like paper towels, toilet paper, and napkins are not eligible. Neither are any of their personal hygiene products, medicine, or vitamins.
Baby formula is also not covered under SNAP benefits.
How Do You Use EBT At Aldi?
To use EBT at Aldi, you must have a SNAP account through your specific state.
You should have received a debit-like card, which is what you use at check-out to make your purchase, and you must have the PIN you created when you set up your account.
You’ll want to make sure you know how much is on your card, as well; if the funds are insufficient, the transaction will have to be canceled and you will have to find out the amount left on the card anyway.
Let the cashier know you’re using SNAP and he or she will enter the SNAP-eligible amount. This will either reduce the amount due to zero if everything was eligible or reveal the amount left to pay.
If there are items not covered by SNAP, your Aldi cashier will let you know your new total and you will have to pay for that via a separate card or cash.
Hold onto your receipt! It will show you your new SNAP balance.
Can You Use EBT To Shop At Aldi On Instacart?
In a deeply popular move, Aldi and Instacart expanded their payment options to include EBT in 2020.
So now shoppers can get the added convenience of purchasing their groceries online or delivery or pick-up and pay with SNAP.
EBT payment on Instacart started in a limited number of states in October 2020, then expanded to 29 of 36 states in which the stores have a presence in December 2020. It is available in 90 percent of Aldi stores in the United States.
You can find out if your state is one of the 29 here.
How Do You Add The EBT Payment Option To Shop At Aldi Online?
To use your EBT account at Aldi on Instacart, you first have to have an active SNAP account and an active Instacart account.
Open the Instacart app and go to the menu in the upper left corner, represented with three horizontal lines. Click on that and find “Your account settings” in the drop-down menu.
Choose the option “Payment methods.”
The next screen should show any credit cards you have applied to your account, plus the option to add an “EBT SNAP card.”
Your first and last names will likely be entered already; all you have to do is add your number in the space shown and tap “Save.”
Start shopping! But remember that SNAP only covers eligible food items; it does not cover delivery/pick-up fees, tips or any of the items that don’t fall under the SNAP umbrella. You will have to pay for those separately with your credit or debit card.
Does Aldi Take WIC?
Unfortunately, Aldi does not take WIC.
WIC, or Women, Infants, and Children, much like SNAP, provides nutritious foods for lower-income families, although with much more stringent qualifiers.
It is limited in scope to items such as cheese, milk, and fresh fruits and vegetables, and it also covers formula.
Aldi claims that federal guidelines allow only name-brand products to be covered; Aldi stores are comprised of 90 percent private-label goods.
An investigation revealed that some private-label foods are indeed WIC-acceptable in different states, and the author theorized that it’s the “regulatory hoops” necessary in each state that is the real reason Aldi does not take WIC.
Aldi does take EBT, both in-store and online, allowing the company to continue and expand its mission of providing consumers with quality food, no matter their income. Time and again, shoppers find that they can stretch every dollar when they fill their carts at Aldi.