What is the ‘6-1 method’ and how can the viral shopping trend help you save money?

Chef Will Coleman’s “6-1” shopping method has gone viral on TikTok and could be the secret to saving money on groceries.

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Chef Will Coleman’s “6-1” shopping method has gone viral on TikTok and could be the secret to saving money on your next trip to the grocery store. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Despite reports of inflation slowing down, the cost of living has shown a steady increase. Lately, it feels like everything from rent to gas prices comes with a hefty price tag, and among a long list of increased prices, groceries are among the top five. To address the high price of stocking our refrigerators today, New York-based chef and content creator Will Coleman introduced the “6-1 shopping method,” which has since gone viral on TikTok

“I created the 6-1 method to get people back to shopping more and [creating] homecooked meals more compared to eating out,” Coleman told People magazine. “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.” 

According to experts, the cost of groceries has steadily increased since 2020 due to a combination of inflation and pandemic supply-chain delays. In December 2023, food prices increased by 2.7% compared to December 2022. So whether you’re looking to cut budget costs or practice better eating habits, here is a breakdown of the 6-1 method to try for yourself. 

Coleman’s method divides your shopping list by sections in the grocery store and encourages shoppers to grab the following: 

  • 6 vegetables
  • 5 fruits
  • 4 proteins
  • 3 starches
  • 2 sauces or spreads 
  • 1 treat for yourself

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While some love the structure of this method, other users expressed their concerns about the high number of vegetables and fruits Coleman recommends in the comment section of his video. In addition to being healthy, Coleman explains that fruits and vegetables and can sometimes be cheaper and stretch beyond one meal. 

“People [can be] a little scared of using vegetables, or they [don’t] know you can even cook with six different vegetables,” he added. “But vegetables are affordable and versatile. You can get them pre-cut, pre-made, pre-roasted.”

However, Coleman encourages people to use the 6-1 method as a general guide when shopping and adapt it to fit their own lifestyles.

“I love it so much because it’s so flexible,” he explained. “You can do this for a household of two or four or six or eight. It doesn’t matter. You can make it work for yourself — and the way to go about that is to just grab a few more of the single items you choose in each category for your family.”

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed chef or a beginner, the 6-1 method’s ultimate goal is to streamline grocery shopping. The structure lessens the likelihood of buying unnecessary items, saving shoppers money while simplifying the idea of cooking and stepping into a healthier lifestyle. 

“It’s 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.”

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