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Does Safeway Accept EBT?

Written by: Dulcie Akers
Last updated: February 22, 2024

Safeway supermarkets accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) for SNAP-eligible items, making it easier for SNAP beneficiaries to access a diverse range of nutritious foods.[1]


While EBT is widely accepted in Safeway stores, the use of EBT for online grocery orders may differ by location, so checking with the local Safeway or its website is recommended for up-to-date information.[2]


Using an EBT card at Safeway is straightforward, involving shopping for eligible items, checking out (either at self-checkout or with a cashier), swiping the EBT card, entering a PIN, and completing the transaction.


Shoppers can stretch their SNAP benefits further by planning meals, looking for deals and discounts, buying in bulk, choosing whole foods over processed items, taking advantage of Safeway's loyalty program, and educating themselves on SNAP-eligible items.

In a world where convenience and accessibility are paramount, many shoppers relying on government assistance programs often ask, "Does Safeway accept EBT?" This question is not just about the practicalities of grocery shopping; it's about ensuring that individuals and families utilizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits have access to a wide range of nutritious food options. Safeway, as one of the leading supermarket chains, plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between quality groceries and SNAP beneficiaries

In this article, we dive deep into whether Safeway accepts EBT, offering a comprehensive guide to those looking to maximize their shopping experience with SNAP benefits. Join us as we unravel the answer to this vital question and provide you with all you need to know for a hassle-free visit to Safeway.

Does Safeway Accept EBT?

Yes, Safeway accepts EBT as a payment method for SNAP-eligible items in its stores. This inclusion enables shoppers using SNAP benefits to access a variety of nutritious and essential foods, making healthy and convenient choices more accessible to everyone.[1]

Understanding EBT Payments at Safeway

Fast Facts

It's important for EBT cardholders to be aware of which items are SNAP-eligible, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, and more, while also noting that alcohol, tobacco, and hot foods ready to eat are not eligible.

Safeway, recognizing the importance of making nutritious food accessible to all, accepts Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards for purchases of SNAP-eligible items in its stores across the country. This allows individuals and families on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to shop for groceries using their benefits seamlessly.

When shopping at Safeway with an EBT card, it's crucial to know which items qualify for purchase under SNAP guidelines. Generally, SNAP benefits can be used to buy:

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Meat, poultry, and fish

  • Dairy products

  • Breads and cereals

  • Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages

  • Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat

However, there are restrictions. SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase:

  • Alcohol or tobacco products

  • Vitamins, medicines, and supplements

  • Foods that will be eaten in the store

  • Hot foods or prepared foods that are ready to eat immediately

It's also worth noting that while EBT is widely accepted at Safeway stores for in-store purchases, the acceptance of EBT for online grocery orders can vary by location and the services offered. Checking with your local Safeway store or its online shopping portal can provide up-to-date information on the availability of EBT use for online orders.

How to Use Your EBT Card at Safeway

Using your EBT card at Safeway is straightforward and similar to using a debit or credit card.[2] Here's a step-by-step guide to ensure a hassle-free shopping experience:

  1. Shop for SNAP-Eligible Items: As you navigate through Safeway, fill your cart with items that are eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits. If you're unsure, you can ask a Safeway employee for assistance or check the signage on the shelves which often indicates SNAP-eligible items.

  2. Checkout: When you're ready to check out, proceed to a checkout lane. You can use self-checkout lanes or manned checkout lanes, depending on your preference and store layout.

  3. Swipe Your EBT Card: When prompted for payment, swipe your EBT card in the card reader. In some cases, you might need to inform the cashier that you're paying with SNAP benefits if you're at a manned checkout.

  4. Enter Your PIN: Just like a debit card, you'll need to enter your four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) to authorize the transaction.

  5. Complete the Transaction: The card reader or cashier will process your transaction. If your purchase includes items not eligible for SNAP, you'll need to pay for those separately with another form of payment.

  6. Review Your Receipt: Your receipt will typically show the amount deducted from your SNAP benefits and your remaining balance. It's a good practice to review this to keep track of your benefits.

Maximizing Your SNAP Benefits at Safeway

Fast Facts

Safeway's policy of accepting EBT payments underscores its commitment to ensuring all customers, including those utilizing government assistance programs, have access to nutritious and affordable food options.

Making the most of your SNAP benefits at Safeway involves strategic shopping and planning to ensure you and your family have access to nutritious meals throughout the month. Here are some tips to help you maximize your benefits:

  • Plan Your Meals: Before heading to Safeway, plan your meals for the week or month. This helps in making a focused shopping list of SNAP-eligible items, reducing impulse buys, and ensuring you purchase only what you need.

  • Look for Deals and Discounts: Safeway often has sales, discounts, and promotions on various items, including fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products. By taking advantage of these deals, you can stretch your SNAP benefits further. Don't forget to check Safeway's weekly ads or sign up for their newsletter for the latest offers.

  • Buy in Bulk: When it makes sense and you have the storage, consider buying staple items like rice, beans, and canned goods in bulk. Bulk items often come at a lower price per unit, offering better value for your money.

  • Choose Whole Foods: Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats typically offer better nutritional value than processed foods. They can also be more economical, especially when bought in season or on sale.

  • Use Safeway's Loyalty Program: If Safeway has a loyalty program in your area, signing up can give you access to additional savings and personalized discounts, which can be applied to many SNAP-eligible items.

  • Educate Yourself on SNAP-Eligible Items: Being knowledgeable about which items are SNAP-eligible can help prevent surprises at the checkout. If in doubt, ask a Safeway employee for guidance.

  • Balance Quality with Cost: While it's important to buy nutritious foods, it's also necessary to manage your SNAP benefits wisely. Compare prices and consider the cost-per-meal of items to ensure you're making economical choices.

Final Thoughts on EBT Payments at Safeway

In conclusion, the answer to "Does Safeway accept EBT?" is a resounding yes. Safeway's acceptance of EBT for SNAP-eligible items ensures that individuals and families can access a wide variety of nutritious foods, aligning with their commitment to convenience and accessibility. By utilizing EBT at Safeway, shoppers can make the most of their SNAP benefits, contributing to a healthier, more affordable lifestyle.

Find out if you can use your EBT benefits at Burger King for more convenient dining options. Check out our detailed exploration to make your fast-food experience smoother.

Dulcie Akers
Dulcie Akers is the editor-in-chief of Gov Relations. She graduated top of her class with a bachelor’s degree in English from Thomas Edison State University. Before working for the company, Dulce worked for seven years at a Fortune 500 company. She currently manages the whole team with Imelda, ensuring every piece of content is relevant to retail, business, and services.

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