Amy- yes, I do believe she was cheating; I have read those articles as well. I don't spend 30 hours a week couponing- I have a full time job and 3 kids and a husband. I just find it ironic that some people around here are so judgmental of people who use coupons. Yet these same people resent judgment for their own lifestyle choices. If someone is cheating the system, that is wrong and should be dealt with. otherwise, it isn't really anyone's business.
I don't think the judgement (if you want to call it that, although I don't think most are intending to judge!) is about 'using coupons'... but more about HOW they are used and WHAT they are used for, in the context of a natural living forum. If we were on a 'mainstream' board, I think the reactions and underlying assumptions would be quite different.
I do look at coupons, although I don't generally use them. Yes, there are A FEW out there for things I perhaps could theoretically use, but the MAJORITY of them are not for things I would consider buying, and don't seem to jive well with natural living, and really wouldn't save me any money once other things are factored in. So it's hard to picture how someone could save 30% or more by couponing, while still striving to live naturally. However, it's become obvious through tons of threads on MDC lately that NOT everyone on here necessarily even wants to live naturally and that 'natural' means very different things to different people... and obviously there is more than one way to meet the 'natural' goal if that is something you strive for. I do think that coupons cause people to save on things they might not otherwise buy (I think that's the point of them?)... so sure, you could save $1 on XYZ, but would you have even BOUGHT it in the first place if it wasn't a sale/coupon? Is it still cheaper than the generic brand? Is it really saving money if you compare price per ounce? Did you still save, even when you factor in things like gas, store-wide elevated prices, etc.? (general 'you' not you specifically!) Some of the examples I've seen lead me to believe otherwise.
I have no problem if someone wants to use coupons though, or even 'extreme' couponing if they can do it legally/ethically. But even with the examples provided in this thread & elsewhere, I don't see how it's something that could help me & my family continue to eat healthy, meet our 'natural' goals, AND save money.