Early Money Lessons
Thiessen, 39, grew up a typical California girl from Long Beach, the daughter of a stay-at-home mom and landscape architect. Thiessen remembers watching her mom cut coupons before heading to the store with her three children. She credits her money smarts to her mother, who sewed Thiessen’s clothes and even pageant dresses in the 80’s—-think of all the taffeta!
Thiessen began acting as a teen and is best known for her role as Kelly Kapowski on the series “Saved by the Bell” and later Valerie Malone on “Beverly Hills 90210.” Even in the midst of being a teen idol, Thiessen kept her head on straight, graduating valedictorian from Valley Professional High School in 1992.
On Retail Shopping Strategies
Today, Thiessen, mother to Harper, age 2, is working on the series “White Collar” on USA, playing Elizabeth Burke, a successful event planner in New York City. We asked her to share some of her favorite money-saving tips for busy working moms like herself.
First, Thiessen says she recommends using sites like TheKrazyCouponLady.com to find the best deals! “There are so many great blogs out there that literally show you how to live well on a budget!” Thiessen says. "They show you how to look amazing without spending a lot of money doing it."
Next, we asked Thiessen what retailers she often buys from. Like most working moms, she loves shopping online. “I purchase from many sale sites.” Her favorite? Gilt.com–a deal site carrying high-end apparel, home decor, and more!
For fast and free shipping, Thiessen turns to Amazon. “I’m a huge fan," Thiessen says. "Their prices are usually some of the lowest, and you can’t beat fast, two-day delivery.” Learn how to get free shipping from Amazon.
Thiessen isn’t a slave to designer labels. Here she is, at left, with her daughter Harper dressed head to toe in Old Navy.
On Humane Eating and Saving at the Table
How does Thiessen save? She shares that she does the one thing that can save you even more than shopping with coupons–she grows the food herself! “I grow a lot of my own produce,” she says. And “If I don't grow it in my garden, I always shop the farmers market on the weekends.” Thiessen explains that you can actually save money on organic produce by shopping at farmers market. Weekend markets can get a bad rap for being too expensive, but a head of organic lettuce at farmers market is often less than the same variety at the grocery store. Plus, Thiessen says "I love buying directly from the farmer.”
When she does head to the supermarket, we asked if she uses coupons. Her reply? “Yes! All the time!” It’s a myth that the only coupons out there are for unhealthy, over-processed junk food. Tiffani is proud to purchase healthy food with coupons . . . “when I can remember them. Ha!” We asked if she was a list maker or an impulse shopper. She says it depends on the day. “I would have to say I am both.” The most successful trips to the supermarket are usually those that are planned.
And, we had to ask Tiffani: If she could rub shoulders with someone famous at the grocery store, who would she say is her #dreamcheckoutboy? (Mine is, of course, none other than Thiessen’s White Collar co-star Matt Bomer.) Thiessen says President Obama is the checkout boy of her dreams! Can you imagine running into the commander in chief on your next trip to the grocery store?
About this series: Does fame always make a person out of touch? Is wealth synonymous with waste? Or are today's idols more like the rest of us than they appear? The Krazy Coupon Lady is taking an inside look into the lives of celebs who say it's smart to save, no matter the paycheck.
We're asking celebrities to answer a few questions about their spending habits, coupons, and money lessons. Check back regularly to see who else might be a surprise Krazy Coupon Lady!