Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Looking for a Good Deal? Jacob Weisgold is Your Guy.

Photo via @jacobthecouponkid on Instagram. Jacob made $30.97 on this haul from CVS.

Near Washington Square, just a few blocks from several CVS pharmacies, multiple ACME supermarkets, and a host of other stores, lives a young man ready to run them all out of business. Every week, Jacob Weisgold ‘27 scours for deals, organizes his rewards points, and sets off to buy as much merchandise for as little money as possible to support local organizations and those in need.

Jacob is what is known as an extreme couponer. In his own words, “Extreme Couponing is when you use a lot of coupons to get a lot of products for free instead of just using a coupon to get an item for a discount.” 

Inspired by the hit TLC show, Jacob has been rampaging through local stores in hopes of scoring the best possible deals. “I watched Extreme Couponing, and I thought ‘I want to do that,’” said Jacob. 

Jacob started his couponing when he was only 10 years old. Now 15, Jacob has been honing his process for half a decade. Throughout his time couponing, he’s improved his coupon collection methods, which he keeps track of on large, detailed Google Sheets.

Jacob, unsurprisingly, knows all the best ways to save at each store he visits. He explained his methods for CVS, ACME, Walmart, and others. He took on a particularly wistful tone when describing out-of-use couponing methods, such as Walmart’s Price Adjustment program, through which customers could be paid back if they found the same product for less money at a different store, even after the date of purchase. Walmart ended the program in 2023.

Jacob also described how couponing has evolved in the last five years. “It’s like a whole different world,” said Jacob.“ A lot of programs have changed,” said Jacob. Nowadays, Jacob finds himself more frequently using external rebate programs, such as Ibotta, which gives cash back on grocery purchases. 

These rebate programs enable even greater savings, at times. When combined with discount coupons, the savings from coupons and earnings can stack, potentially allowing Jacob to make a profit from a purchase. “One time I got thirteen boxes of cereal – they filled up my entire cart,” said Jacob. “I made a lot of money. I think 63 dollars in total.”

“He likes to say he provides for the family,” said Cheri Cutler, Jacob’s mother.  Given that Jacob was only 10 years old when he first went couponing, it is unsurprising that his parents were involved from the start. Cheri, though, disputes her involvement. “The store clerks always turn to me to explain how the coupons work,” said Cheri. “But I would refer them to Jacob and kindly let them know that I had no clue about couponing.” 

“Watching him coupon for the first time was mind-blowing,” said Cheri. “He had already spent an extraordinary amount of time creating multiple lists of specific items to buy so that the products would be free.” The discovery that Jacob could not only save, but make money from couponing was particularly surprising. 

On one outing, Cheri recounts Jacob collecting over 500 dollars of groceries, toiletries, and cleaning products. “He had mentioned to me a few minutes prior that the total amount would be 18 cents,” said Cheri. “He did all the math in his head.” When they went to the cash register, Jacob was dead on – the total was exactly 18 cents.

Jacob doesn’t just provide for his family. “I donate most of the stuff that I get to Acts of the Apostles Church,” said Jacob. Acts of the Apostles Church in Jesus Christ is a hub of social outreach in North Philadelphia, offering services to people experiencing homelessness, drug addiction, and other difficult circumstances. 

Following a particularly large donation to a homelessness shelter in Philadelphia, his mother “could see that he was beaming with pride.” Cheri also takes great pride in her son, both for his couponing skills and his eagerness to give to those in need. “He now has so many boxes of products that we donate regularly to shelters.” 

Jacob has also brought his extreme couponing to his school community. “I’ve also donated to Friends Select,” said Jacob. When the Community Pantry opened, Jacob made a large donation of toothpaste using his couponed merchandise. He also plans to continue donating both food and toiletry products to the pantry.

After 5 years of couponing, Jacob has a rhythm. At 15, he is now old enough to shop by himself. He rarely spends more than a few dollars per trip, regularly turning a profit. Jacob is not showing any signs of slowing down, either. Still routinely bringing in net-profit hauls, he posts couponing advice and current sales as well as pictures of his shopping trips on his Instagram, @jacobthecouponkid.

Photo via @jacobthecouponkid on Instagram. Jacob made $13.49 on this haul from Target.
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About the Contributor
Patrick Ryan
Patrick Ryan, Editor-in-Chief

Patrick Ryan is a senior at Friends Select and a co-editor-in-chief of The Falcon. Patrick writes about student life, city curriculum, and music. He also helps lead Quake, the Harvard Model Congress, and the Art for Access concert. Patrick spends his time dislocating his shoulder and reading books.

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