Too Much of A Good Thing

This week there are tons of great deals at Publix, my favorite store to shop with coupons. There's moneymakers on Olay products (ends today in FL), free Fisher snacks, free Nivea body wash, free Schick Hydro Edge razors and a good deal on Sorrento Cheese Sticksters. The problem is that ALL the stores are out of stock of ALL these items.
I'm fortunate to live by 2 close stores within a mile of my home, plus there are 2 other stores that are out of the city in small new developments that usually have better stock than in town. Earlier this week I was able to find some coupon booklets and some product, but yesterday was frustrating. This couponing frenzy is getting too popular. Too many people know how to do it and some are not exactly shopping with integrity by clearing out the shelves. I'm sure every store in Tampa has orders into the main warehouse in Lakeland, but I'm also sure the warehouse is out of stock.
It would be nice if stores could anticipate our coupon shopping desires, but it seems like they don't.  I know some bloggers have contacted their store managers ahead of time to ask to see the sneak peek of the ad to help the store. They offer to alert the store about products they may want to stock up on before the sale due to increased demand by coupon shoppers with match ups. This seems like a win-win deal, but I'm not sure I want to step right under the radar by being the local coupon expert to my stores.
So, I've scaled back on my couponing chatter, especially to neighbors and co-workers who shop in my neighborhood. I don't want to create competition for the inadequate supply of some products the store stocks. Its real easy to tell if there is another couponer in your store because the moneymakers are always gone, and the good deals are nearly gone. I know rain checks are an alternative, but that is not quick or easy to shop that way, or under the radar. Plus stores won't give out rain checks for advantage buy items. I've started "rolling" my gift cards into new gift cards with my overages and I really don't want to explain how it all works to the store managers, as they may stop giving overage on items with coupons. IMO its ethical to get overage since the store gets reimbursed for full face value of the coupon, but some people don't understand and its better to just stay low profile.
So if any of you have any ideas on how to get your stores to keep adequate stocks, I'd love to hear it. Until then, my motto is shop early, shop often.

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