I admire the inordinate amount of work that local coupon queens Karen Gunter, Jennifer Weber and Carrie Rocha do for Twin Citians every day (article in Tuesday's Star Tribune). They search out the best deals based on sale prices and available store and manufacturer coupons. Gunter's site, for example, points out the list of General Mills products (annoyingly abbreviated GM on her site) that can be purchased at Cub this week that will generate a coupon at the register (AkA Catalina) for $7 off a future visit.

I just can't get beyond the fact that despite all of the coupon doubling and buying multiple copies of Sunday newspapers (The Strib thanks them for that), they're buying a lot of stuff that I wouldn't buy anyway.

If I sound as if I think couponing is wrong or a waste of time, I don't mean to. Too often people think that because they don't personally embrace something, it must be stupid. Each of the three women saved her family thousands of dollars on groceries and household goods with coupons. All admit that the pursuit becomes a part-time job given the amount of time it takes.

I'm not willing to turn couponing into a part-time job but if I lose my job, I'll probably change my mind. I guess what I'm saying is that people who are critical of couponers are too often patting themselves on the back because they don't have to work that hard to save money. Yet.

I'm curious what you think about people who are serious couponers. Do you think you can save as much buying store brands or shopping at Aldi?