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Can You Buy Red Bull With Ebt?

Energy drinks like Red Bull are popular beverage choices for many people looking for an extra jolt of energy. If you receive SNAP benefits through an EBT card, you may be wondering if you can use those benefits to purchase energy drinks like Red Bull.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: In most cases, yes, you can buy Red Bull with EBT. Red Bull would be considered a grocery item by SNAP guidelines, making it eligible for purchase with EBT benefits.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain in detail the SNAP rules around buying energy drinks with EBT, which types of Red Bull drinks are EBT-eligible, where you can or can’t use EBT to buy Red Bull, and tips for maximizing your SNAP benefits when buying groceries including Red Bull.

SNAP Rules for Buying Energy Drinks with EBT

EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards are issued to eligible individuals and families to help them purchase food and other essential items. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, governs the use of EBT cards.

While EBT can be used for most grocery items, there are certain restrictions when it comes to purchasing energy drinks.

EBT Can Be Used for Most Grocery Items

EBT cards are primarily intended for the purchase of nutritious and staple food items, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, bread, and cereals. These items are considered essential for a balanced diet and are allowed purchases with EBT cards.

SNAP recognizes the importance of providing access to healthy food options for low-income individuals and families. By allowing the use of EBT cards for most grocery items, it ensures that recipients can make nutritious choices while using their benefits.

Some States Have Banned EBT for Energy Drinks

While EBT can be used for most grocery items, some states have implemented specific restrictions on the purchase of energy drinks using EBT cards. These states have recognized that energy drinks may not contribute to a healthy diet and can have potential health risks, especially when consumed in excess.

For example, New York has banned the use of EBT cards for energy drinks since 2014. Other states, such as Michigan and Arizona, have also implemented similar restrictions.

These states have chosen to limit the purchase of energy drinks with EBT cards to promote healthier choices and protect the well-being of SNAP recipients.

banned ebt for energy drink

Unallowed EBT Purchases

In addition to energy drinks, there are other items that cannot be purchased with EBT cards. These include alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, supplements, hot foods, prepared meals, and non-food items like household supplies and personal care products.

It is important to note that the specific rules and restrictions regarding EBT purchases may vary from state to state. Each state has the flexibility to set its own guidelines within the framework of SNAP regulations.

If you are unsure about what can be purchased with your EBT card, it is recommended to check with your state’s SNAP program or visit their official website for more information. They will provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date guidelines regarding EBT card usage.

Which Red Bull Drinks You Can and Can’t Get with EBT

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program that provides food assistance to low-income individuals and families.

SNAP benefits can be used to purchase a variety of food items, including energy drinks. However, not all energy drinks are SNAP-eligible.

To be eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits, a food item must have a “Nutrition Facts” label.

A “Nutrition Facts” label is a standardized label that provides information about the nutritional content of a food item. It includes information about the number of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients in the food.

Some energy drinks, such as Red Bull, are labeled as foods and have a “Nutrition Facts” label. These energy drinks are SNAP-eligible.

However, other energy drinks are labeled as supplements and have a “Supplement Facts” label. Supplements are not considered food items and are not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits.

It is important to note that Red Bull has changed its labeling over time. Some older Red Bull products may have a “Supplement Facts” label. These products are not SNAP-eligible.

To determine whether or not a Red Bull product is SNAP-eligible, you must check the label. If the label says “Nutrition Facts,” the product is SNAP-eligible. If the label says “Supplement Facts,” the product is not SNAP-eligible.

Here are some examples of Red Bull products that are SNAP-eligible:

  • Red Bull Original
  • Red Bull Sugarfree
  • Red Bull Zero
  • Red Bull Total Zero
  • Red Bull Coconut Berry
  • Red Bull Peach Nectarine

Here are some examples of Red Bull products that are not SNAP-eligible:

  • Red Bull Energy Shots
  • Red Bull Energy Gums
  • Red Bull Energy Drinks in cans with a “Supplement Facts” label

If you are unsure whether or not a particular Red Bull product is SNAP-eligible, you can always ask a store employee for assistance.

red bull zero

Where to Buy Red Bull with EBT

If you rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, commonly known as EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer), you may wonder if you can purchase energy drinks like Red Bull.

While the rules for what you can and cannot buy with EBT benefits vary by state, it’s important to know where you can typically find Red Bull if it is allowed in your region.

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores are the most common places where you can use your EBT card to purchase eligible food items. Many grocery stores, such as Walmart, Kroger, and Safeway, accept SNAP benefits.

However, it’s important to note that the availability of Red Bull may vary depending on the store and the state regulations. Some grocery stores classify energy drinks like Red Bull as ineligible items, while others may allow their purchase with EBT.

Convenience Stores

Convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven and Circle K, are often popular destinations for quick snacks and beverages. While convenience stores generally do not accept EBT for food purchases, some states have implemented pilot programs that allow SNAP participants to use their benefits at select convenience stores.

It is essential to check with your local SNAP office or the store itself to determine if Red Bull can be purchased with EBT at convenience stores in your area.


Gas Stations

Gas stations are another place where you might find Red Bull and some gas stations also accept EBT payments for eligible food items. However, it’s important to note that regulations regarding the purchase of energy drinks with EBT benefits can vary by state.

Some states may allow energy drink purchases at gas stations, while others do not. To find out if you can buy Red Bull with EBT at gas stations near you, it’s best to check with your state’s SNAP office or contact the specific gas station for more information.

Online Grocery Delivery

In recent years, online grocery delivery services have gained popularity, offering convenience and accessibility for those who cannot easily visit physical stores. While some online grocery delivery services, like Amazon Fresh or Walmart Grocery, accept EBT payments, the availability of energy drinks like Red Bull for purchase may vary.

It’s advisable to check the policies of the specific online grocery delivery service you are using and review the list of eligible items before attempting to purchase Red Bull using EBT.

It’s important to remember that the rules and regulations regarding the purchase of energy drinks with EBT can vary by state and even by store. 

Tips for Buying Red Bull and Maximizing Your EBT Benefits

While the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as EBT, is primarily intended to help low-income individuals and families purchase nutritious food, there is some flexibility when it comes to certain non-essential items like energy drinks such as Red Bull.

Here are some tips for buying Red Bull and maximizing your EBT benefits.

Look for Sales and Store Coupons

One way to make the most of your EBT benefits when purchasing Red Bull is to keep an eye out for sales and store coupons. Many grocery stores offer regular discounts and promotions on various items, including energy drinks.

By taking advantage of these deals, you can save money and stretch your EBT benefits further.

Buy in Bulk When Possible

Buying in bulk can be a cost-effective strategy when it comes to purchasing Red Bull with your EBT benefits. Many wholesale clubs and discount stores offer larger quantities of energy drinks at discounted prices.

By purchasing in bulk, you can potentially get more Red Bull for your money and make your EBT benefits last longer.

Focus on Nutritious Options Too

While it may be tempting to use your EBT benefits solely on energy drinks like Red Bull, it’s important to remember the program’s goal of providing nutritious food. While Red Bull may provide a temporary energy boost, it is not a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet.

Consider using a portion of your benefits on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other nutritious options to support your overall well-being.


Red Bull with “Nutritional Facts” on their label are eligible for purchase using EBT benefits. On the other hand, those that have “Supplemental Facts” on the label cannot be purchased using an EBT card.

Having the flexibility to purchase groceries like Red Bull can help EBT recipients supplement their diet and shopping needs. Following state rules, looking for deals, and balancing nutritious items are key to making the most of SNAP benefits.

Use your EBT card wisely and check your state’s rules to maximize your grocery budget.

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