Can You Buy Lobster With Food Stamps? [Learn The Facts]

Food stamps have become an incredible tool for low-income families to purchase healthful food, but there is always the question of what can be purchased, and does this include food like lobsters?

While many people would not dare to consider such a costly item while on a tight budget, we will discover all the information you need if you want to sample the delicacy.

Continue reading to find out what the restrictions are for live animals and EBT cards, specifically lobster.

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Can You Buy Lobster With Food Stamps?

Yes, the good news is that lobster can be purchased with food stamps.

Some may be perplexed by this, given that the usual rule bans SNAP recipients from purchasing live animals, but fish, lobster, and other shellfish are exceptions.

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EBT cards, or food stamps as they were once known, are intended to help low-income families purchase nutritious food and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Because people are not permitted to purchase live animals, this definition frequently leaves certain products in the “gray zone.”

Furthermore, the average price of lobsters is much above the budgets of low-income families participating in the SNAP program, so what is the point of this exception?

While we cannot judge someone else’s decisions, the wonderful thing about food stamps is that they allow families to live a little healthier and even purchase those “luxury things” if they choose so.

Can you buy prepared lobster?

Lobsters can only be purchased fresh. EBT cards cannot be used to pay for cooked, hot, or ready-to-eat food at the store.

As a result, premade meals may only be purchased if they are frozen.

Is this true for all live animals?

No, live animals are not among the foods that may be purchased with food stamps.

Shellfish, lobster, and fish are the only exceptions to this rule. 

This increases the variety of food available for purchase with EBT cards, but because the costs are generally expensive, these goods are only on the menu 10% of the time for low-income families.

Is the rule for food stamps and lobster purchases going to change?

There have been some public debates regarding luxury products such as lobster and the ability to purchase it with food stamps.

Taxpayers are outraged that money provided to needy families is being spent in this manner, but the final decision is still pending.

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So, keep checking back for updates, but for the time being, the lobster is still on the list of acceptable products you may purchase with your EBT card.

What Can You Buy With Food Stamps?

Now that we know you may use your food stamps to buy lobster and other shellfish, let’s add a few more things to the list, such as:

  • Meat and poultry
  • Baby formula
  • Refreshing drinks and candy
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Bread and cereal
  • Dairy

As you can see, there are many inexpensive ingredients available to prepare a balanced and nutritious meal for your family.

What You Can’t Buy With Food Stamps?

Even with all of the wonderful benefits that your EBT card provides, there are some restrictions. 

Here are a few examples of things you can’t pay for with food stamps:

  • Live animals
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Soap and other hygiene products
  • Paper products
  • Vitamins and medicine


The SNAP benefits are an excellent method to offer individuals with nutritious alternatives while also making meal preparation more inexpensive. 

Even if you’ve always wanted to treat yourself and taste lobster, you may now do it with your EBT card. Simply keep an eye on your monthly budget and look out for deals and discounts.

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