Can I Buy Publix Subs With EBT – Purchase Options Available

Publix subs—or better known as Pub Subs—are popular amongst Publix goers no matter where they are. Pub Subs are sold in the deli section, where a worker will prepare the Sub of your choosing. Plus, depending on your geographical area, Publix will release limited time and location-specific sub-options – like the Cuban Sub, an example of something found in South Florida Publix locations.

However, despite its popularity and location in the store, would it be considered a qualifiable item by EBT SNAP (better known as food stamps) payment methods)?

You can buy a cold-cut sub with an EBT SNAP card from the deli section in Publix. The rule is that food cannot be hot during the sale. So, these cold-cut subs are usually placed in a cooler in the deli section. Sandwiches that qualify cannot be prepared at the moment.

States can have different rules regarding what deli items qualify under SNAP benefits. This is a loophole in the rules since prepared foods that are hot and ready to eat is not covered. Let’s see what is covered by EBT SNAP cards and what is not.

What Can You Buy with EBT SNAP Payments?

EBT SNAP benefits are granted to those that qualify by household income. Applicants must fill out information online. When approved, they receive a debit card that can be used at grocery stores with a monthly spending limit. This limit can change over time depending on the status of eligibility by the applicant and federal law.

What You Can Buy with EBT SNAP

Those approved to use an EBT card can go to most grocery stores and pay for groceries considered to be Staple Foods. However, it is important to remember that not all products sold are covered and must be paid with another payment method. EBT SNAP benefits cover the following foods:

  • Fruits and vegetables – can be fresh, frozen, or canned
  • Meat, poultry, and fish – include fresh, frozen, or canned
  • Dairy products and non-dairy alternatives, and eggs
  • Grains like pasta, bread, and cereals
  • Other foods, such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat, like parsley or a cilantro plant
  • Accessory foods – think of wheat, sugar, oils, bakery items like brownies and doughnuts

While there are plenty of produce and products you can buy with an EBT SNAP card, many products in grocery stores do not qualify. These products are:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco are not covered, no matter what
  • Vitamins, medicines, and supplements. The rule of thumb is to read the back of the bottle and identify If an item has a Supplement Facts label. If it has one, then it is considered a supplement and is not eligible for SNAP purchase
  • Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from the water, and animals slaughtered before pick-up from the store)
  • Foods that are hot at the point of sale – i.e., hot Pub Subs options
  • Any nonfood items such as pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products, household supplies, hygiene supplies, and cosmetics

While most of what qualifies and does not qualify under EBT SNAP payments is self-explanatory, items may fall in a gray area. When this happens, it is important to ask before making the purchase. If the item does not qualify and you would like it anyway, it is essential to have an alternative payment method.

Instacart: EBT SNAP and Publix

Instacart recently started accepting EBT SNAP payments from their customers. Customers need to place their orders the same way they usually would and use their EBT SNAP card as the payment method when they check out.

While not exclusive to Instacart, other grocers and services have joined the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot program. This program allows customers to make online orders and take advantage of pick-up services at select grocers. Some grocers accepting online orders are Publix, Sam’s Club, Sprouts, Target, Walmart, and more.

Remember the Next Time You Order a Pub-Sub

If you plan to pay with an EBT SNAP card, you must ensure that the item you are purchasing is a cold cut and is not hot at the time of sale. Usually, these benefits are for Staple Foods, foods that need to be prepared, or accessory food items.

Suppose there are any questions at any time. In that case, it is best to ask directly by either talking to the grocery store before making your purchase or contacting the federal government directly.

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