Who knew you could use extreme couponing for someone else’s benefit? One college student did. Hannah Steinberg, now a Tufts University junior, has donated more than $100,000 in goods to charity, all because of a skill she learned on reality TV. (I guess reality TV is actually good for something.)
While she was still in high school, Steinberg saw an episode of a series about extreme couponing, which is the practice of making extensive use of coupons and promotions to save money by buying in bulk. At first, she didn’t see the point of it, but then she realized she could use this skill for the betterment of others. Her parents, who live in Scarsdale, New York, even drove her first donation to a nearby family shelter.
When she first started, she used $500 of her own money she earned from babysitting and set up a spreadsheet to track all the different promotions. Steinberg didn’t stop there, though. She emailed her parents’ coworkers with a bold message:
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“‘If you donate $500 to another charity that’s amazing, but that $500 is only $500–look what I was able to get for that amount.'”
Her email was so successful that a family friend helped her set up a 501c3, so the donations would be tax-deductible. She then named her organization Our Coupons Care. While she is a full-time college student, she finds the time to donate because of the support of her friends and family, while also utilizing her breaks from school. She told PEOPLE that she hopes others are inspired by what she’s achieved so that their own lives improve:
“It’s definitely something that I can teach people and that’s the ultimate goal. If everybody could realize that coupons can really save you a lot of money it could really change a lot of lives.”
Stories like this are always so inspiring, because they really do show how it’s possible for all of us to make a difference in each other’s lives, no matter how big or small.