It's not a secret that things cost a little LOT more these days.

It's even more not a secret that a trip to the grocery store can leave you sitting in your car, staring out at the bustling parking lot, holding a short receipt in your hand asking yourself, "What just happened?"

RELATED: WATCH: New USDA Estimates Show Shocking Cost of Grocery Inflation

It's not just you. Every family is coming to grips with what seems to be a meteoric rise in food prices. In October 2023, the United States Department of Agriculture estimated that the average family is spending $975.30 per month on groceries, even when following the USDA's most economical plan.

What Is the 6 to 1 Grocery Shopping Hack and Why Are People Raving About It?
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With that in mind, we're all looking for ways to trim expenses while still maintaining a healthy shopping list. And if you have spent even a little time on social media, there's no shortage of food influencers (food-fluencers?) sharing tips on how they are achieving both.

One such creator is Chef Will Coleman, who goes by @chefwillco on TikTok who shared what he called his "6 to 1" grocery shopping method.

What Is the 6 to 1 Grocery Shopping Method?

Let's start by saying, there's a lot of "well, duh!" with this method, but that's kind of the point. Modern grocery stores are a wonderland of distractions whose main goal is to make you forget what you actually went in for.

RELATED: Why Grocery Stores Play Music: You're Going To Buy More Stuff

Chef Will wants you to focus on buying six healthy items for every single "cheat" or less-healthy item while you make your rounds at the grocery store. This simple approach forces you to strike a balance between maintaining a healthy diet but also allowing for those very necessary guilty pleasures.

Let's break it down:

  • Your goal is to buy 6 fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables
  • Add in 5 fresh, frozen, or canned fruits
  • Choose 4 proteins (meats, beans etc.)
  • Add 3 starches (breads, rices, pasta)
  • Include 2 sauces (various condiments or salsa)
  • 1 small indulgence per trip (some M&Ms because shopping is stressful, and you deserve it)

Look closely and you'll see that this method will keep you more focused on the outer regions of the store, where you'll find produce, meats, dairy, frozen veggies—the sections known for offering healthier options. It's those inner aisles that can tempt you with less nutritious choices like those potato chips you've had your eye on.

Does the 6 to 1 Grocery Shopping Method Work?

Depends on who you ask. While the general feeling is that it only works when you stick to it, it also leads to you being more focused and mindful while making your way around the store. That said, foodie folks who rely heavily on recipes might find this method a little disorienting.

READ MORE: The Most Popular Grocery Stores in America

Popular food blogger Ross Yoder tried the method for Buzzfeed and says that it cut his grocery bill in half. Yoder contends that it helped him be more mindful of what and how much he was buying, but it also encouraged him to be smarter about meal planning.

Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Will's 6-to-1 grocery method to anyone out there who's trying to spend less at the grocery store. Actually, I think pretty much anyone could learn something from doing the 6-to-1 method at least once...

At the end of the day, if this method has you examining healthier options more closely, encouraging you to try new things and add variety to your diet, and possibly even reducing household food waste and your grocery bill, it might be worth trying—even as a one-time experiment.

Most popular grocery stores in America

The most popular grocery stores in America, from corporate chains to family-owned enterprises. Stacker ranked them using consumer ratings sourced from YouGov polls.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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