Woman Breaks Down How to Use Food Stamps at a Costco Food Court, Still Has Haters

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Dec. 12 2023, Published 12:01 p.m. ET

While there was once a common belief that anyone could have the “American Dream” if they “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps,” those trying to survive today know the American Dream has evolved and become all but extinct. Now, buying anything from toilet paper to a new broom feels like a splurge, and going out to eat rather than cooking can actually save you some extra cash.

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Due to prices not budging, we can’t blame anyone for cutting corners and finding ways to enjoy a meal they didn’t prepare themselves.

On TikTok, one woman has found a way to use her food stamps at a Costco food court, and honestly, it’s pretty iconic.

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A woman explained how to use food stamps at a Costco food court.

You can’t please everybody, nor should you try to. And no one is more difficult to please than someone who thinks you’re bucking the system.

For some reason, food stamps have always been controversial. Although they’ve been around for decades, people who don’t qualify for food stamps due to their income love villainizing people who do, calling them lazy or undeserving of quality food because they didn’t “pay” for it.

It’s a conversation that happens once a month on social media and annoys me every time someone tries to shame people who are just trying to make ends meet.

Fortunately, TikTok user Jinger Elizabeth (@imjingerwithaj) isn’t letting the naysayers stop her from indulging in anything her food stamps have to offer. After receiving negative comments for using her food stamps at Starbucks, Jinger returned with another video for the “food stamp police committee” to punch the air.

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While at her local Costco, Jinger shared how to use food stamps at a Costco food court to buy some of the grocery store’s pre-packaged foods. She showed herself buying a cold soda and a salad as she explained that her food stamps would only go through if she ordered something from the store’s cold menu. Unfortunately, hot foods aren’t available — something else that has always bothered me about food stamp rules.

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Jinger continues her video by selecting her items and then pulls out her adorable EBT (Electric Benefits Transfer) card. She called it an EBT card on camera, noting that some people in her previous video didn’t know what an EBT card looked like, yet they were quick to judge her.

Jinger then pays for her food, selects EBT as her payment type, and watches as the card reader approves her purchase. She then told her audience to “thank me later” and walked away with the order.

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Jinger received mixed comments after sharing her Costco tip.

As someone who has used food stamps/EBT cards on and off during my childhood and college years, I don’t see one problem with Jinger using her benefits at Costco, Starbucks, or anywhere else they’re available (pretty much any grocery store with cold food). There are so many other issues, and policing someone’s food stamp usage shouldn’t even be on the list of things to tackle first.

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Sadly, Jinger still received some of the same negative comments from before about how the EBT program is “highly abused” and from people concerned about the fact that she wears lashes and keeps her nails done.

However, she had much more support from people who appreciated her videos and addressed those who think people who have food stamps don’t work just as hard as those without.

“Why are y'all so pressed?” one commenter asked. “She’s showing you guys how to get food from food stamp; it’s HER card, not y’all’s.”

“I think you guys are taking this the wrong way,” another defended. “My daughter is disabled and gets food stamps, and I do her grocery shopping for her, and I work.”

“Thank you,” a user simply told Jinger.

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