By Amanda Hill

Ok, I’ll admit it.  I’m a fan of the extreme couponing show that’s been on TV recently. These women (and men) spend countless hours clipping coupons, scouring newspapers and websites for the best deals and mapping store routes to strategize their next shopping trip. That takes some serious dedication to saving money.

In a way, I envy them. I love the instant gratification of getting a good deal—especially at the grocery store. Coupons are one way to save a good bit of money, if you have the time. For many, food prices are an important part of the household budget. When the cost of basic food products increases, it changes the way we shop.

Every three months, we compile the Texas Farm Bureau Grocery Price Watch, an informal survey of prices for 16 common food products from shoppers across Texas. The latest survey, released last week, recorded a 1 percent increase in the total basket price from March to June of this year. That’s a 59-cent increase, taking the basket from $43.95 to $44.54.

Texas Farm Bureau's latest Grocery Price Watch quarterly survey showed a 59-cent increase in a basket of 16 food staples.

An extra 59 cents isn’t all that much. In fact, it’s a smaller increase than some might expect. But, with their totals calculated to the last penny, I’d guess the extreme couponing pros will notice.

Oh, and as an interesting side note, did you know the farmer’s share of the grocery bill is only 16 percent? That means for the $44.54 Grocery Price Watch basket, farmers received just $7.13. Their margin has stayed the same for several years now, lest we forget that the farmers really aren’t getting rich off our weekly trips to the store.

As the primary grocery shopper at our house, I try to save money by buying some generic brands and sticking to my list. We’ve also made it a point to avoid wasting food, which saves money, too. There are lots of ways people cut costs at the grocery store—not just by extreme couponing. Although, I guess a show about following my grocery list wouldn’t be near as interesting.

How do you save money on food prices? Share your tips in the comment section below. We want to hear from you!