Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cheney Free Press Newspaper Article about Tammilee Tips

I thought I would share with everyone a great article that the Cheney Free Press printed this week.

Medical Lake woman turns misfortune into cash through coupons
Staff Reporter

If you’d like to know how to squeeze $5,640 out of $800, just ask Tammilee Tillison. Thanks to her coupon clipping and sale sighting prowess, that’s how much she and her husband John have saved since January on purchases ranging from hot cereal to a new freezer.

At this rate the couple will reach their 2011 savings goal of $10,000 before the year is half over, which makes it hard to believe Tillison had never even considered using coupons prior to a couple of years ago.

“I kind of had that stigma of the little old lady clipping coupons at her kitchen table,” she said. “It was not someone in her thirties with a master’s (degree) in business administration and an amazing job.”

But then the company she’d worked with for more than a decade gave her a choice: reapply and transfer to a position in another city or find another job. She chose to quit and stay in Medical Lake so John could keep his dream job as a state park ranger and she could continue living in a place she loves.

After the decision was made, reality set in.

“Before, we were well over six figures in combined income. We had no worries, didn’t think about money,” she said. “I was the one with the larger income and so when that was going away I was like, hmm, what are we going to do? How are we going to keep doing the things we love?”

The couple has a passion for travel; vibrant photographs from tours of Iceland, the Mediterranean and dozens of other exotic locales hang on their living room walls. Tillison said these adventures seemed destined to fall by the monetary wayside along with the more modest luxuries of eating out, going to movies and attending sporting events.

She became determined not to let that happen and, starting with a single coupon valued at a quarter, slowly learned the art of making a dollar stretch. Since they started tracking savings over the past year and a half the Tillison's have saved at least $15,000 through her efforts. Coupons even paid for three weeks in the Caribbean last year.

In 2009, after fielding hundreds of questions from friends and family, Tillison finally started a website to share her savings secrets. That site is now visited by hundreds of devotees from all over the country who follow her advice via Twitter, Facebook and email.

She said her bottom line suggestion is simple: Start clipping.

“I think the biggest thing is to ignore the stigmas, ignore what you think coupons are,” she said. “There are coupons for everything. You can use coupons for restaurants, for oil changes, for movies. Whether it’s one coupon or 10, just dive in and try it.”

Tillison said the goal of her website is to make finding and using coupons painless so that people might realize how easy it is to save. If someone looks through one newspaper a week they can save $25 in coupons, she said, adding $1,200 to their checking account in a year.

One thing Tillison has learned through couponing – the more you save the more you’re able to give. The couple can now afford to do most of the shopping for John’s mother and grandmother, who live on a fixed income. They also have a goal of donating 1,000 pounds to the Medical Lake Food Bank this year, which she said was never really on their radar before.

“This is certainly not what I thought my 10 year plan would be,” Tillison said with a laugh. “But I love it. I love being able to help people save money and to help them achieve whatever their goal may be, whether it’s paying off a bill or traveling someplace.”

Visit www.tammileetips.com for more or search Tillison out on Facebook and Twitter.


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