One of the worst situations is when I'm behind someone with a notebook.
The notebook is a bad sign. I don't mind someone using coupons, but they
could have selected which ones they're going to use before getting in
line (same problem with checks, they don't do anything in advance). And
then those notebook people have to argue about every coupon, and search
their cart for the item.
87 days until the winter celebration (Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:00:00 AM for 1
In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 29 Sep 2018 18:04:17 -0400, Ralph Mowery
I wonder what that is. Food stamps are replaced by a credit card-like
thing , and the computer knows what is on the list and what isn't. At
least in the USA. Unless it's a very small store. Are you in the USA?
On Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 6:04:26 PM UTC-4, Ralph Mowery wrote:
Are there no computers? The only thing I can compare this to is manufacturer's
coupons. After all items have been scanned, coupons are scanned. If a coupon
doesn't match anything in the previously scanned merchandise, it's rejected.
In alt.home.repair, on Sun, 30 Sep 2018 04:58:26 -0700 (PDT),
I don't think he's talking about coupons but about things one is allowed
to pay for with food stamps. I haven't had that job but it's basically
snacks, food ready to eat is not covered. Candy bars are not covered
and food that they consider optional is not covered so maybe not candy
at all. I don't know if pre-made sandwiches are covered. I think not,
because even though supermarkets sell that, it's like restaurant food
and not covered. But anyone who has been at the job for a couple weeks
will usually know all this stuff by heart. Well, looking at the list
below, maybe not 2 weeks but 6 months. Plus like Cindy says, if the
cash register is connected to a computer, it should know.
[After reading what follows, there appear to be a lot of mistakes in
what I wrote above]
What you can buy with SNAP
SNAP and its beneficiaries have plenty of critics, often people who feel
that low-income individuals should be limited in what they are allowed
to purchase with public funds. Critics of those critics would say that
prescribing their shopping lists is intrusive. Generally, the rules
limit SNAP purchases to food products, with some limitations and
Energy drinks such as Red Bull have been available for purchase with
food stamps since 2013, when companies making them began changing their
labels to list "nutrition facts" instead of "supplement facts." Critics
have tried to have them removed from eligibility, but as long as they
are classified as a food item, they are likely to stay.
Since they are clearly food items, you can, in theory, buy steak,
lobster, shrimp, or any other high-end food with food stamps.
Legislators have proposed removing such items from the program, but in
reality there is no need: Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows
that people in the income group low enough to qualify for SNAP hardly
buy any beef or seafood (only about 10 percent of the average monthly
grocery bill), because it's too expensive.
There is some truth to the impression that a lot of SNAP recipients buy
junk food. A 2011 USDA analysis found that 23 cents of every SNAP dollar
goes to sweetened beverages, desserts, salty snacks, candy, and sugar.
(The other 77 cents goes toward meal ingredients, such as milk, bread,
meat, cereal, and vegetables.) However, non-SNAP households spent 20
cents of every dollar on those same sweet treats. So shopping habits
were similar, regardless of payment method.
Nutritionists have expressed concern about the amount of junk food
purchases funded by SNAP, which is meant to improve health, not to
contribute to health problems such as obesity. But attempts to cut junk
food from SNAP run into problems both with complexity and with the
discomfort of making the government the judge of which foods are worthy
and which aren't.
Another approach, presented in a 2016 paper in the American Journal of
Preventive Medicine, would be to provide incentives for purchasing
healthy foods, either alone or in combination with limits on junk food
While you can't buy hot prepared food items, you can buy baked goods.
Muffins, cakes, and cookies purchased at grocery stores and some
bakeries are fair game.
Since they are technically edible, you can buy your Halloween pumpkins
with SNAP but not decorative gourds. Gift baskets, prefilled stockings
or prefilled Easter baskets can be purchased as well, but only if at
least 50 percent of the contents are edible items and the basket
contains no prohibited items. For example, you could buy a holiday
stocking with a few small toys and a lot of candy, but not a large
stuffed bear holding a small box of chocolate.
You can purchase coffee to make at home, in any form, with your SNAP
card. This includes single-use pods such as K-Cups, instant coffee,
cappuccino mix, whole bean, or fresh ground coffee.
Taco Bell (sometimes)
The vast majority of SNAP recipients are limited to buying groceries
with SNAP. But in some states, elderly, disabled, and homeless SNAP
recipients can participate in the Restaurant Meals Program. In Arizona,
participating restaurants include Taco Bell, Denny's, Subway, and
In 2014, SNAP began allowing participants to purchase seeds and plants
that produce food, and launched a site to encourage gardening.
Produce at the farmers market
You can legally buy fresh fruits and veggies, as well as homemade jams
and honey, at farmers markets. The only catch is that most stands only
accept cash, while SNAP functions as a debit card. The government is
working with local markets to change that, including publishing a
directory of farmers markets that accept SNAP and setting up incentive
programs such as bonuses for SNAP users.
Food from online grocers
The USDA is operating a pilot program allowing SNAP users to order
groceries online. This could be a boon to people living in food deserts
and homebound elderly and disabled people, not to mention parents of
small children and those who work long hours and can't get to the store.
(See also: 6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money)
While you cannot use SNAP for alcohol, you can buy mocktails, bloody
mary mix, tonic water, or margarita mix.
Things you can't buy with SNAP
Despite the fact that we just listed a wide range of items that you can
buy, there are actually plenty of things you are not allowed to purchase
with SNAP benefits. Some make perfect sense; there's no way taxpayers
are going to fund cigarette or alcohol purchases. But there are valid
arguments that some of the following items should be covered.
Those hot roasted chickens in the deli are sometimes cheaper, pound for
pound, than raw chicken. [???] And for people who don't have access to a
kitchen, they could be included in many healthy meals such as chicken
tacos or chicken salad. However, most SNAP recipients can't purchase any
hot prepared foods, including these.
Since they are not food, you can't use SNAP to buy household items such
as soap, laundry detergent, diapers, sanitary napkins, or toilet paper.
Since these items are essential, this restriction can be a hardship for
As mentioned above, a petition asking the federal government to include
pet food in the SNAP program recently received more than 230,000
signatures. While there's a valid argument to be made that pet ownership
is a luxury that the American taxpayer shouldn't have to support, the
counterargument is that pet owners that fall into poverty are more
likely to give up or abandon pets if they can't feed them and housing
these pets in shelters or euthanizing them costs the public money.
Grocery bag fees
More and more local governments are discouraging waste by requiring
stores to charge for grocery bags. SNAP cannot be used to pay those
fees, and the local law may not exempt SNAP users. So SNAP users should
either bring their own bags or be prepared to pay for disposable bags
Food shipping charges
SNAP users participating in the trial of online grocery ordering must
pay any delivery or convenience fees in cash.
While you could buy live crabs to cook at home, you can't use your SNAP
card to buy a piglet to raise or a cow to milk even if it would save
you money and provide more nutritious food in the long run. Livestock
just isn't part of the program.
Alcohol and cigarettes
Alcohol and cigarettes aren't food, they're not nutritious, and the
public doesn't want to pay for them.
It was well before the SNAP program but that was one of my friend's
complaints about food stamps. iirc another was the store would give
change in store coupons that had to be redeemed at the same store.
On 09/30/2018 06:58 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Apparently, these people don't even decide what coupons to use until
they're being checked out.
If one of my coupons is rejected, I normally save it for use next time.
That is, if the cashier doesn't insist I do something more complicated NOW.
86 days until the winter celebration (Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:00:00 AM for 1
In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 29 Sep 2018 14:07:49 -0500, Mark Lloyd
Or they're using a credit card and don't know they can put the thing in,
and their PIN before the final amount, so they only have to push one
button at that point. There was a hand-made sign up saying that for 2
or 3 weeks but the store gave up.
A local grocery store (not Walmart) has 6 checkout lanes, 3 of which are
express (15 items or less). The last time I was there, the express lanes
were open and had no more than 1 customer each. Only one of the regular
lanes was open and it had 5 or 6 customers waiting.
OT: the countdown in my sig reminded me of "Get Smart", one of the TV
shows my parents liked in the sixties.
86 days until the winter celebration (Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:00:00 AM for 1
Walmart here has about 20 lines with registers to check you out, but
only two or maybe 3 have anyone at them to check you out. Then there
are several employees just walking around.
In years past it took some skill to enter the items correctly. Now with
the scanners I am sure most could be taught in a few hours to do the
Unlabeled produce can be a problem with the cumbersome code lookups. I
generally get the same things so I quickly learned 4011 for bananas etc.
I was surprised when shopping in a store from another chain that the
same code was used. I don't know if that was a coincidence or if the
codes are uniform.
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