The 6-To-1 Grocery Shopping Method That Promotes Less Waste And More Savings

You work hard for your money and relinquishing so much of it at the grocery store every week can be a major appetite killer. Foodies on a budget know that your dollar doesn't always go very far to bring home the groceries you need — and considering the resilience of break-neck food inflation, who isn't on a budget these days? That's where the 6-to-1 method comes in.

The grocery store hack by Brooklyn-based chef Will Coleman went viral on TikTok for helping people save money on their weekly grocery runs, or however often they go. The point is, whenever you step into the grocery store for a restock, the 6-to-1 method should be in your mind. "Grab six veggies, five fruits, four proteins, three starches, two sauces or spreads, and one fun thing for yourself," explains Coleman. "This [tip] makes grocery shopping way easier, way cheaper, and you get in and out so you're not there all day."

Proteins can include more obvious options like chicken, beef, and tofu, but eggs and yogurt are also sources of protein. If six vegetables seem like a lot, keep in mind that these can also include staple cooking veggies like onion, carrots, celery, and peppers. As one of the top comments on the TikTok points out, "Five fruits is crazy," but cucumbers, avocados, and tomatoes all count as fruits. Frozen fruit counts too, and doesn't go bad as quickly. This could also include frozen smoothie packs for breakfast.

Spend less and get out of that recipe funk

Keeping costs down is a win whether you consider grocery shopping purely utilitarian or a fun exercise in culinary brainstorming. Either way, the 6-to-1 method also helps save time and cut down on food waste — a crucial and timely trend shift. In the United States, food waste amounts to roughly 325 pounds per person per year (yikes). Since this system makes the errand less daunting, the 6-to-1 method might even encourage foodies to cook at home more.


My 6 to 1 grocery method makes shopping cheaper and easier! Let me know how you like this grocery shopping method. #6to1method

♬ original sound – Chef Will Coleman

The vegetable-forward base encourages healthy eating, which can save money in the long run, too. As Coleman told Good Morning America, "You may be surprised at how cheap veggies are compared to processed items ... [and] you'll be surprised at how fast you eat through it when you're cooking at home daily." It's a quick way to be more explorative with your diet instead of falling on the same comfortable go-to meals week after week. Plus, it's easy to remember, even amid mind-clouding grocery shopping anxiety (which is a very real thing).

Admittedly, larger families with bigger grocery needs might need to adapt the 6-to-1 method by doubling it to 12-to-2, or go grocery shopping twice per week instead of just once. The method doesn't account for pantry staples like flour either, or non-food grocery items like dish soap and paper towels. But, the point is to use the 6-to-1 method as the foundation for a successful shopping trip, with alterations where necessary.