While many smart and savvy shoppers find ways to save money for themselves, one high school student was thinking about how to save money for everyone else.
Hannah Steinberg, 20, began watching her favorite reality television show, “Extreme Couponing,” during her junior year in high school. The cable program featured shoppers with an obsession for discounts and followed them on their scavenger hunt for heavily discounted items. While watching her favorite program, it occurred to the teenager that she could use coupons and the methods she learned from the show to help others.
To date, Steinberg has donated over $100,000 worth of canned foods, household items and electronics through her registered charity to homeless shelters and hospitals.
The 20-year-old from Scarsdale, New York, has been praised by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and other elected officials for her charitable work. The county board of her hometown has even designated a day dedicated to the college student within the region called “Hannah Steinberg Day.”
Steinberg told the Boston Globe about her project:
“This has become something so much bigger than I would’ve imagined, for me and for the families. What I’m doing is very simple.”
Online marketplaces, stores and private couponing companies often offer deals and discounts on the same items, she explained. By combining the coupons, shoppers get even bigger savings. Steinberg learned from “Extreme Couponing” that by carefully tracking discounts offered from multiple sources she could plan when to buy certain items in bulk and maximize her savings.
Her nonprofit charity, Our Coupons Care, receives donations that she utilizes to make purchases with coupons.
The college student, who majors in psychology and child development at Tufts, said she is able to make “every dollar count for four to five dollars.” She may have taken a few tips on saving money from her mother, Ruth Steinberg, a New York City-based financial advisor. A proud parent, her mother told the Boston Globe:
“It’s amazing, and she’s stuck with it for a long time.”
Ivan Smith, a youth coordinator at Coachman Family Center in White Plains, New York, helps Steinberg by advising her on the needs of the shelter, which houses 175 children. Smith revealed that Steinberg is modest about her generosity. He told the Boston Globe:
“She’s always apologetic because she wants to do more. And she doesn’t want any recognition of it.”
While juggling final exams and papers in college, Steinberg has managed to lead a $4,000 student group donation at Tufts. She said she attempts to organize a donation drive at least once a month.