Coupon matching to the WIC food list – yes, it’s possible
Three of the appearances I’ve been booked for in the next few weeks are either directly to low-income families, or to the caseworkers who help those families through the social service network.
So as I poke through collection of links, articles and pictures to do the usual updates to my coupon class outline, I’m also keeping in mind that there could be questions about Michigan Bridge Card, WIC and other programs.
Yes, you can use coupons with the food stamp program that is usually allocated in Michigan on a debit card called the Michigan Bridge Card. The reason I know this, other than my educated guess, is that one of my couponing friends was on food stamps for awhile when both she and her husband were unemployed. She applied her couponing skills to her grocery funds, regardless of where the money came from.
The WIC foods, in comparison to food stamps, are very specific because they are meant to provide healthy foods to eligible “women, infants and children.” The list was expanded about a year ago to include more foods than what was traditionally on the program.
I just printed off the Michigan WIC flier and the the instructions say “Manufacturer and cents-off coupons can be used with your WIC Bridge Card. Store promotions may be used with your WIC Bridge Card.”
Are there coupons that match up to the WIC list?
Yes, there are.
Keeping in mind that I’m looking only through the coupons I’ve kept in my coupon box – and there may be others I’ve already handed on through the coupon swap network – here’s what I find right now:
- Kraft 55-cent off coupon expiring Feb. 15 on “any two packages of Kraft cheese”. You can’t buy all of the listed products from that coupon on WIC but you can buy some, including the sliced colby jack that is shown on the coupon as one of the examples.
- Cheerio’s coupon expiring March 3 for $1 off on “any two boxes of Cheerios”. You can’t buy just any flavor of Cheerios on WIC. You have to buy plain or multigrain. But both of those are allowed on the coupon.
- General Mills coupon expiring Feb. 18 for $1 off any three boxes of specified General Mills cereal. The listed cereals do include plain Cheeerios, Kix and Rice Chex, all of which are allowed purchases on WIC.
- Cream of Wheat coupon expiring March 31 for $1 off on any two packages Cream of Wheat. There are three varieties listed as allowed on WIC.
- Cream of Wheat coupon expiring March 31 for $1 off any one box. There are three varieties allowed as a purchase on WIC.
- Kellogg’s cereal coupon expiring Feb. 19 for $1 off any three Kellogg’s cereals. Plain Kellogg’s corn flakes and plain Special K are allowed purchases on WIC.
- Special K cereal coupon expiring Feb. 12 for $1 off any three packages Special K. Plain Special K is allowed purchase on WIC.
- Bundle coupon for $1 off fresh eggs when you buy any two packages of Kellogg’s cereals. This coupon expires March 31. It was not a newspaper coupon, I think it was part of a special packet. In any case, corn flakes or Special K, and eggs, all are allowed purchases on WIC.
- Minute Rice coupon expiring April 30 for 50 cents off any Minute Rice product. The one-minute brown rice box would be an allowed purchase on WIC.
- Pepperidge Farm Bakery Product coupon expiring Feb. 12 for 40 cents off any of its products in the fresh bread aisle. Pepperidge Farm’s swirled whole wheat with raisins, very thin sliced whole wheat, Jewish rye whole grain and stone ground whole wheat breads are allowed purchases on WIC.
Now, what good is it to use coupons on the WIC items? Those groceries are already at no cost to the participants.
The reason I would use coupons if I was on WIC would be to stretch that grocery allotment as far as possible. Here are some reasons why:
- Peanut butter is not as cheap as it used to be, and the coupon I found in my box would probably not be WIC-allowed.
- Oatmeal also is not as cheap as it used to be, and I haven’t seen too many coupons for that food lately.
- The juice coupons I have in my coupon box don’t match to the varieties shown on the WIC flier, and that’s not a cheap purchase either.
Update: read the comment section because as one of my readers explained, sometimes a WIC shopper can stretch the allocation with the use of coupons — and sometimes not!