Northwestern High Schooler Uses Extreme Couponing Skills to Give Back

Taylor Holt
Updated: May 02, 2019 10:19 PM

Northwestern High School student, Brooklyn Degraef has mastered the skill of doing more with less.


"I got some school supplies, protactors. I also got baby products because you can't really get a good deal on these all the time," said Degraef showing the results of her latest extreme couponing project. 

She had bags filled with anything from toiletries to notebooks and pens and pencils.

She says it started as a hobby years ago.

"My mom's best friend kind of started it and I was like, well, I want to do it myself and I want to learn how to do it," said Degraef.

She quickly caught the couponing bug and when she figured out she could use her passion to help people and get school credit. She jumped right on the opportunity.

"We have to do a 25-hour SAE project and I was like this kind of goes into community service so I said I'm going to incorporate what I do on a daily basis but with my project," she said.

She started collecting papers and ads from her family, where she found the coupons. That whole process of collecting took her about 37 hours. Then, it was time to go shopping.

"I spent probably two hours in a store and it doesn't bother me," she said.

It also paid off big time. She got $1,007 worth of stuff and only spent $47.77, and she knew exactly where to donate the items.

"I obviously can't use all this stuff," said Degraef.

So, she and her family delivered them to Ruth House in Superior on Monday.

"If they can't use it, they will donate it to somewhere else that can. That was a big part of choosing because I just wanted it to get used and hope that it would make a difference," she said.

Ruth House Board Member, Calliopie Wilson says it was an unexpected surprise.

"(My first reaction was) First of tell me your secret because I am a mom of two," said Wilson. "Also, I'm impressed honesty, with the fact that someone took it upon themselves to use their couponing skills to help us out."

She says it was perfect timing, however.

"It's all community-based donations that we survive off of for the most part, so something like this that has come in is absolutely amazing," said Wilson.

She says it's another case of someone seeing a need and stepping up.

For Brooklyn, she says the extreme couponing hobby takes a bit of practice and alittle bit of luck.

"It depends on the week, and the deals the store offers," said Degraef. "We kind of stack them all together and hope that it makes a good deal."

However, the most fulfilling part of this project was more than just finding a great deal. 

"I love to shop and if I can help someone out, that's a benefit on top of a hobby I like to do," she said.


Taylor Holt

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