Are you a SNAP recipient looking to bag some grocery savings at Smart And Final? Smart and Final is a popular alternative to regular grocery stores and they offer some great weekly deals on fresh food and pantry staples, but does Smart and Final take EBT?
When you’re spending your SNAP allocation, you need to make sure you’re stretching your EBT dollars as far as they will go. Will Smart and Final really save you money?
Let’s find out! In this article, we’ll answer your questions about shopping at Smart and Final with your EBT card.
Does Smart And Final Take EBT in 2023?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is an essential resource for millions of individuals and families, and SNAP’s EBT card is accepted at many grocery retailers nationwide.
Smart and Final are on the list of grocery retailers authorized by the USDA to accept EBT cards for payment.
You can pay for your groceries at Smart and Final with your EBT card as long as the items you purchase are eligible under the SNAP program.
What Are EBT Eligible Purchases At Smart & Final?
Most food items are covered under SNAP, however, you can’t buy hot food like rotisserie chickens.
The majority of fresh foods like fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy are covered, and packaged food items that have a nutritional information label are also included.
You won’t be able to buy alcohol, pet food, some energy drinks, nutritional supplements, cosmetics or personal hygiene products, cleaning products, diapers, or toilet paper.
How To Pay With EBT At Smart & Final
When you checkout, use your EBT card along with your PIN to pay for your purchase. If you’re buying non-EBT eligible goods at the same time, you’ll need to use your EBT card to pay for the permitted items, then use a separate payment method to cover the outstanding amount.
You may need to show a photo ID to prove that the EBT card belongs to you.
You might find it helpful to use 2 carts or 1 cart with a basket inside to separate your EBT eligible and non-eligible items. Use a calculator to keep track of your spending as you shop to make sure you keep to your budget.
Always check your EBT balance before you shop and make a meal plan and shopping list ahead of time so that you can make the best value purchases.
You can ask a cashier to print a receipt showing your balance for you before you shop if you’ve been unable to check it any other way.
Can You Shop Online At Smart And Final With EBT?
No, you won’t be able to order groceries for home delivery or curbside pick up at Smart and Final. If you want to pay with your EBT, you’ll need to go to a physical store.
The payment methods you can use for online orders at Smart and Final are Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.
You’ll need to place an order with at least $35 worth of grocery items to be eligible for delivery, and the delivery fee is $9.99.
Does Smart & Final Give Refunds On EBT Purchases?
All stores have to treat customers using EBT cards in exactly the same way as any other customer.
If you need to return a product, Smart and Final will refund the purchase price to your EBT card or offer you a product exchange.
They can’t give you a cash refund because that would violate EBT regulations.
Does Smart And Final Accept WIC?
Yes, you can use your WIC benefits card at Smart and Final stores for foods on the approved WIC list.
See if your state has a WIC app that you can download to help you identify eligible products at the store.
With a WIC app, you can scan the barcode of any product and find out if it’s on the approved foods list.
The types of foods you can usually purchase with WIC include:
- Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
- Oatmeal and breakfast cereal
- Canned and dried beans
- Canned tuna
- Canned salmon
- Peanut butter
- Plain baby cereal
- Baby food fruits and vegetables
- Baby food meats
- Soy milk
- Lactose-free milk
- Evaporated milk
- Nonfat dried milk
Is There A Membership Fee At Smart And Final?
No, unlike other warehouse-style stores, Smart and Final don’t charge a membership fee. But that doesn’t mean that you’re going to save money by not needing to pay a fee because Smart and Final don’t have the lowest prices compared to many other retailers.
Membership stores like Costco and Sam’s Club will have the best deals and both stores accept EBT.
Costco individual membership is available for individuals who don’t qualify for a trade membership and costs $60. The savings you can make on all of your regular purchases and gas purchases will more than pay for the membership fee.
Sam’s Club membership costs even less at $45, and the savings at Sam’s Club are just as impressive as those at Costco.
Is Smart And Final Better Value Than the Grocery Store?
If you make all of your grocery purchases at Smart and Final, you’ll most likely spend more than you need to. Some food items, they’re cheaper than at a regular grocery store, but many items are cheaper at Target and Walmart.
It’s always more cost-effective to shop in several stores if you can, although with gas prices hitting painful highs, it’s not as easy to bargain hop as it used to be.
Even though you can’t use your EBT card to pay for an online order at Smart and Final, you should still check out their prices before you visit the store by downloading the app or using the website for your local store.
It’s a good idea to compare prices no matter where you plan to shop.
Make your shopping list, then note down the price for each item at several stores in your area. Then go through your list and figure out how much you can save by shopping for different items at different stores.
Of course, if you’ve seen a deal in the weekly Smart and Final flyer that you know is better value than elsewhere, you won’t need to price compare.
Let’s compare a few examples of some basic grocery items at several retailers. Prices are subject to change, but the overall trend will still be the same.
1-gallon whole milk
- Smart and Final – $3.89
- Walmart – $3.76
- Target – $3.79
1 dozen eggs AA size
- Smart and Final – $3.99
- Walmart – $3.16
- Target – $3.19
Butter 16 oz
- Smart and Final – $3.99
- Walmart – $3.58
- Target – $3.19
Plain Yogurt 32oz
- Smart and Final – $3.49
- Walmart – $3.12
- Target – $3.29
- Smart and Final – $5.99/lb
- Walmart – $4.57/lb
- Target – $3.49/lb
5lb Bag Russet Potatoes
- Smart and Final – $2.49
- Walmart – $2.64
- Target – $2.69
Dried Pasta 16oz
- Smart and Final – $1.59
- Walmart – $0.92
- Target – $0.95
Diced Canned Tomato 28oz
- Smart and Final – $2.69
- Walmart – $0.98
- Target – $1.89
- Smart and Final – $0.69/lb
- Walmart – $0.58/lb
- Target – $0.62/lb
Sharp cheddar cheese 32oz
- Smart and Final – $7.49
- Walmart – $7.48
- Target -$7.58
- Smart and Final – $1.69 16oz loaf
- Walmart – $0.93 20oz loaf
- Target – $1.19 20oz loaf
Cut and peeled fresh carrots per pound
- Smart and Final – $1.25
- Walmart – $0.96
- Target – $0.99
Price comparison verdict
- Smart and Final total = $39.24
- Walmart total = $32.68
- Target total = $32.86
As you can see, there’s little difference between Target and Walmart for that basket of 12 grocery items, but Smart and Final will cost you roughly $7 more, which is a 16% increase. Over 1 year, you would spend an extra $364 at Smart and Final if you purchased those 12 items every week.
So unless you’re shopping for a specific deal at Smart and Final, buying groceries there will cost you significantly more.
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Smart and Final take EBT cards for payment in their stores. You can use your EBT to purchase any SNAP-eligible food items, but you can’t purchase household goods, personal care items, or pet food.
If you want to shop online at Smart and Final, you’ll need to use a different payment method because EBT can’t be used for online orders for home delivery or curbside pickup.
Unless you see a really great deal at Smart and Final, shopping at their warehouse-style stores won’t save you much money. They may have lower prices than your local Safeway, but Walmart and Target are both cheaper on a basic basket of goods.
Smart and Final don’t charge a membership fee and they sell the type of bulk-size products you can find at Costco and Sam’s Club.
But if you want to stretch your money as far as it will go, pick up a low-cost membership to Costco or Sam’s Club. The savings you’ll make will more than pay for the membership fee.
See Also: Does Dollar Tree Accept EBT?
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