Can I Buy Pumpkins With Ebt?

Pumpkins are synonymous with fall, but their cost can quickly add up. If you receive SNAP benefits, you may be wondering: can I buy pumpkins with EBT?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, you can use EBT benefits to purchase fresh pumpkins in most cases.

This article will cover everything you need to know about buying pumpkins with EBT, including eligibility rules, tips to save money, and how to use them.

EBT Eligibility for Fresh Pumpkins

EBT can be used to buy fruits and vegetables

Yes, you can buy fresh pumpkins with your EBT card!

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as EBT, allows recipients to purchase a variety of nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables. This program aims to ensure that low-income individuals and families have access to healthy and affordable food options.

With EBT, you can visit local farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and even some online retailers to purchase fresh produce, including pumpkins.

Fresh, whole pumpkins are considered a vegetable

When it comes to pumpkins, it’s important to note that only fresh, whole pumpkins are eligible for purchase with EBT. Fresh pumpkins are considered a vegetable and, therefore, fall within the guidelines of allowable EBT purchases.

It’s worth mentioning that pre-cut, cooked, canned, or processed pumpkins are not eligible for purchase with EBT. The program emphasizes the importance of consuming fresh and unprocessed foods to promote a healthy diet.

Gourds and ornamental pumpkins also permitted

Not only can you use your EBT card to purchase fresh, whole pumpkins, but you can also buy gourds and ornamental pumpkins. These decorative varieties are still considered vegetables and are, therefore, eligible for EBT purchases.

Gourds and ornamental pumpkins can be a great addition to your fall decor, and it’s wonderful to know that they can also be enjoyed as part of a nutritious meal.

Gourds and ornamental pumpkins

Using EBT at Pick-Your-Own Farms

Pick-your-own farms are a popular destination for families and individuals looking to enjoy the experience of harvesting their own fresh produce. Many people wonder if they can use their EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards to buy pumpkins at these farms.

The good news is that some pick-your-own farms do accept EBT payment for pumpkin picking, allowing individuals and families to enjoy this seasonal activity.

Some farms allow EBT payment for pumpkin picking

While not all pick-your-own farms accept EBT payment, there are some that do. These farms understand the importance of providing access to fresh, healthy food for all individuals, regardless of their financial situation.

By accepting EBT, they are able to make pumpkin picking and other farm activities more accessible to low-income families and individuals who rely on EBT benefits.

pumpkin picking

Payment typically occurs at checkout, not in the field

When using EBT at pick-your-own farms, it’s important to note that payment typically occurs at the checkout counter, not in the field. This means that you will need to bring your selected pumpkins to the designated payment area before completing your transaction.

The farm staff will then process your EBT payment and provide you with a receipt for your purchase.

Ask the farm ahead of time about EBT policies

Before heading to a pick-your-own farm with the intention of using your EBT card for pumpkin picking, it’s a good idea to call or visit their website to inquire about their EBT policies. Some farms may have specific guidelines or restrictions when it comes to EBT payments, so it’s best to be informed beforehand.

Additionally, they may be able to provide you with information on any special events or promotions they may have for EBT users.

May need to weigh pumpkins before checkout

At some pick-your-own farms, you may be required to weigh your pumpkins before heading to the checkout counter. This is to ensure that you are charged the correct amount for your selected pumpkins. Farm staff will usually provide scales or weighing stations for this purpose.

It’s always a good idea to ask the farm about their weighing process when inquiring about their EBT policies so you can be prepared.

Purchasing at Grocery Stores and Markets

Using your EBT card to buy groceries can be a convenient way to ensure that you and your family have access to healthy and nutritious food.

When it comes to purchasing pumpkins with EBT, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Look for signs indicating EBT accepted

Before heading to the grocery store or market, it’s important to make sure that they accept EBT as a form of payment. Look for signs at the entrance or near the checkout registers that indicate EBT is accepted.

Many stores now participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and will accept EBT for eligible food items, including pumpkins.

Fresh pumpkins should have stickers with PLU codes

When selecting a pumpkin, it’s important to choose one that is fresh and in good condition. Fresh pumpkins should have stickers with Price Look-Up (PLU) codes on them. These codes help the cashier identify the item and ensure that it is eligible for purchase with EBT.

If you’re unsure about whether a particular pumpkin can be purchased with EBT, don’t hesitate to ask a store employee for assistance.

Take to checkout with other EBT groceries

Once you’ve selected your pumpkin, you can take it to the checkout counter along with your other EBT-eligible groceries. It’s important to separate your EBT-eligible items from any non-eligible items to avoid confusion during the checkout process.

This will help ensure that your EBT benefits are only used for eligible items.


Swipe EBT card like a debit card for payment

When it’s time to pay, simply swipe your EBT card like you would a debit card. The amount of your purchase will be deducted from your EBT balance, and you may be required to enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to complete the transaction.

It’s important to note that EBT benefits cannot be used to pay for any items that are not eligible under the SNAP program, such as alcohol, tobacco, hot foods, or prepared foods intended for on-premise consumption.

Remember, the ability to purchase pumpkins with EBT may vary by state and individual store policies. It’s always a good idea to check with your local grocery store or market for specific guidelines on using EBT for pumpkin purchases.

EBT Restrictions to Know

If you are a recipient of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and use an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card for your purchases, it’s important to be aware of the restrictions that apply.

While EBT cards provide a convenient way to access and use your SNAP benefits, there are certain limitations that you should keep in mind.

1. Cannot exceed monthly SNAP allowance

When using your EBT card, it’s crucial to stay within your monthly SNAP allowance. This means that you cannot spend more than the amount allocated to you for that month.

It’s important to keep track of your purchases and the remaining balance on your EBT card to avoid going over your limit. This will ensure that you have enough funds to cover your essential food expenses throughout the month.

2. No buying pumpkins to resell for profit

While using your EBT card, it’s important to remember that you are not allowed to purchase pumpkins or any other items with the intention of reselling them for profit. The purpose of SNAP benefits is to provide assistance in purchasing food items for personal consumption.

Therefore, it’s essential to use your benefits responsibly and solely for your own household’s needs.

3. Canned pumpkin or pumpkin flavoring May or May Not be Eligible

Although pumpkins, in general,  are eligible for purchase with EBT, it’s worth noting that there are certain exceptions.

Fresh pumpkins are surely allowed, but canned pumpkin or pumpkin flavoring may be permissible, depending on the retailer. These products are often considered food items and can be used to prepare meals or baked goods.

However, it’s always best to check with your local SNAP office or consult the official SNAP guidelines to ensure you are making eligible purchases.

4. Limit quantity to personal use

When using your EBT card, it’s important to remember that you should only purchase quantities of food items that are intended for personal use. SNAP benefits are designed to provide assistance for individuals and families to meet their nutritional needs.

Therefore, it’s not appropriate to use your benefits to purchase large quantities of items for commercial purposes or to resell them.

For more detailed information on EBT restrictions and eligible purchases, it’s recommended to visit the official USDA SNAP website. This website provides comprehensive information on SNAP benefits, including guidelines, resources, and frequently asked questions.

By understanding and adhering to these EBT restrictions, you can make the most of your SNAP benefits and ensure that they are used appropriately to support your household’s nutritional needs.

Saving Money on Pumpkin Purchases

Buying pumpkins can be a fun and festive way to celebrate the fall season, but it’s important to keep your budget in mind. Fortunately, there are several ways you can save money on pumpkin purchases, even if you rely on EBT for your grocery needs.

Check sales ads and coupons for deals

One of the easiest ways to save money on pumpkins is to keep an eye out for sales ads and coupons. Many grocery stores and farmers’ markets offer seasonal discounts on pumpkins, especially as Halloween approaches.

By checking these ads and clipping coupons, you can take advantage of special deals and get more bang for your buck. Additionally, some stores may even have promotions specifically for EBT users, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Buy directly from farms for lower prices

Another option to save money on pumpkin purchases is to buy directly from local farms. Farmers often sell their produce at lower prices than grocery stores, as they cut out the middleman.

Visiting a farm or participating in a local farmer’s market can not only save you money but also give you the opportunity to support local businesses and enjoy a more authentic pumpkin-picking experience.

Buy directly

Purchase smaller pie pumpkins to reduce cost

If you’re looking to save money on pumpkin purchases, consider opting for smaller pie pumpkins instead of larger decorative ones. While larger pumpkins may be appealing for carving or decorating purposes, they can also come with a higher price tag.

Pie pumpkins are smaller in size but are just as delicious when used in recipes. By purchasing smaller pumpkins, you can still enjoy the flavors of the season while keeping your budget intact.

Plan meals around pumpkin to reduce waste

Lastly, when buying pumpkins, consider planning your meals around them to reduce waste. Pumpkins are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes, from soups and stews to pies and bread.

By incorporating pumpkin into your meal planning, you can ensure that no part of the pumpkin goes to waste. You can even roast the pumpkin seeds for a healthy and tasty snack!

Remember, saving money on pumpkin purchases doesn’t mean sacrificing the joy of the season. By being mindful of sales, purchasing directly from farms, opting for smaller pumpkins, and planning meals around pumpkins, you can enjoy the festivities while keeping your budget intact.


With some planning, you can purchase fresh pumpkins using your EBT card. Stick to eligibility guidelines, research deals at local stores, and get creative with recipes.

Enjoying fall flavors doesn’t have to bust your SNAP budget. Now, go pick out the perfect pumpkin!

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