How the 6-1 Method Makes Grocery Shopping a Breeze

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Woman looking at her phone while shopping in the grocery store
Prostock-studio /

A new grocery shopping method has gone viral, promising to get you to eat more healthfully while also adding a dash of fun to mundane trips to the store.

New York-based chef Will Coleman introduced the technique — known as the “6-1 grocery method” — in a TikTok video, which quickly topped 1 million views.

The concept is simple. When creating a list for your next trip to the grocery store, you break it down into:

  • 6 vegetables
  • 5 fruits
  • 4 proteins
  • 3 starches
  • 2 sauces/spreads
  • 1 fun item

Or, if you didn’t make a list, simply grab that many of each type of item at the store.

In an interview with the New York Post, Coleman said he created the method because he was tired of spending long lengths of time in grocery stores only to end up blowing his budget and — in the end — wasting food he didn’t eat.

In a separate interview with People, Coleman said his goal in sharing the method with others was to get people focused on creating more home-cooked meals instead of eating out:

“It’s designed in a way to cut costs because when you’re shopping in the store, some of the higher-ticket items are prepackaged or processed items. Fruits and vegetables are usually on the lower end of things and they can stretch beyond one meal. You can be way more creative about what you’re putting out in the kitchen, and of course, it’s healthier as well.”

Coleman was surprised but gratified to see his video go viral. He told People the method is “all about providing the foundation for getting folks in the grocery store and out of the mentality where they’re afraid to cook at home.”

Meg Asby of the publication Apartment Therapy recently tried the 6-1 method and wrote that she became an instant convert.

Using the method saves her time, eliminates food waste and “limits mental labor.” As a result, she says she has “never dreaded grocery shopping less.” She writes:

“The 6 to 1 method gamifies shopping. I love choosing what to keep instead of trying to resist impulse purchases. It’s also fast. I was in and out of the store in a half hour, which never happens.”

If you want to improve your shopping experience, make sure to avoid the “10 Things You Should Never Do in the Grocery Store.”

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