With food prices on the rise, it seems everyone is looking for ways to save money on groceries. Fortunately, by tweaking just a few of your habits, you can offset rising food prices with grocery savings. It takes a little time and effort, but saving money on groceries isn’t impossible.

Cook From Scratch

The cheapest (and healthiest) way to eat is to cook from scratch. Focus on purchasing ingredients, rather than purchasing meals. Shop the perimeter of the store to stock up on meat, dairy, produce, and grains. Most of the time, you pay for convenience. If you’re willing to put in the effort to make things from scratch, you will notice savings on your grocery bill.

Combine Sales With Coupons

Coupons have been touted as a way to save money on groceries for a long time. This is true, if you regularly buy items for which you can find coupons. But be careful. Sometimes buying a name brand item with a coupon is more expensive than buying the equivalent generic item.

To make the most effective use of coupons, combine sale prices with coupons. If a store doubles coupons, even better. Even if you can’t find food coupons you would use, you can frequently use coupons to save money on personal care items, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, and toilet paper. And with non-perishable items, you can stock up when prices are at their lowest.

Enlist Your Friends

If you have several frugal friends, you can band together to really save money on groceries. Share coupons that you don’t use. Divide your shopping, so you each hit a different store for the loss leaders (those items that are priced below retail to get you in the store). Call each other when you see good deals.

Beyond coordinating your shopping efforts, large groups can often get big discounts. Go in together to buy a side of beef. Make a bulk order from Amazon, Azure Standard, or a food coop to get a great price, then split up the purchase. There’s savings in numbers, and with everyone hurting from high grocery bills, why not band together to save money?

Use Craigslist

I know you’re scratching your heads at this suggestion, but I have found big savings on Craigslist. One time I picked up two trash bags full of strawberry plants, and I didn’t pay anything. A woman was thinning out her strawberries, and just wanted to get rid of the extra plants, so until we moved two years ago, I ate free strawberries every year!

People with large gardens or small farms often advertise excess produce on Craigslist at great prices, so keep your eye out. You never know what you’ll find, but if you know how to freeze, can, or dehydrate produce, you can find some sweet deals!

By putting in a little effort it is possible to save money, even as grocery prices rise.