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Control Impulse Buying: Shop By The ‘6 to 1’ Method

It’s a new, trendy, viral shopping ‘rule’ that may help you control your impulse spending temptations. It definitely promotes balanced, healthy eating. And it sounds like a great tool for the ‘shopping list challenged’. But how much does it cost?

UK high food prices - © 2023 mashed.comThe ‘6 to 1’ system may help you avoid nasty shocks at the supermarket checkout!

Will Coleman is a New York City chef, television personality and social media creator. Thus his trendy (faddy?) new shopping method, the ‘6 to 1’ plan, was introduced recently on TikTok. And to his surprise, it went viral. Which would indicate that many thought it was a good idea.

What it is

Simply put, it’s a ‘pattern’ to shop by: Every week, you purchase: six fresh, frozen or canned vegetables; five fresh, frozen or canned fruits; four proteins; three starches; two sauces; and one ‘little luxury’.

Coleman observes: ” [You’ll] spend less time in the grocery store and keep more money in your pockets. […] You’re also reducing your food waste, because you aren’t buying random ingredients that you don’t really need.”

Sounds easy. And you get to choose the specific grocery items you want. I wonder, though, how easy it would be to plan meals you and your family can identify with around that shopping list?

Some examples…

What might such a grocery buy look like?

For me, the veggies would be largely frozen, with a few fresh items, like tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes and leafy greens. When buying veggies or fruits, get only the number of ‘units’ you need. Buying big bags of produce is just asking for some of them to go bad before you can use them. And that’s a horrifying waste of the food – and your money!

The fruits would be largely frozen, including berries, which are a pretty good buy year round. Fresh fruits would include apples, and any in-season fruit that was attractively priced. Grapes used to be a go-to. But they’re a no-go now, because of stratospheric prices. As are other tropical and many citrus fruits.

The four proteins would have to be ‘creatively’ chosen. I’m opening my mind and shopping cart to the world of plant-based proteins these days. I’m loving beans, peas, chick peas, brown rice, whole grain products. And even a few more exotic items such as tofu and lentils. They’re cheap compared to animal-source proteins. And there are literally hundreds of thousands of recipes for them online!

Three starches? Okay. How about pasta, whole wheat bread, tortillas, potatoes, rice or corn? Starches might be the easiest category of the magic 6 to fulfill..

The two sauces are entirely up to you. But remember, it’s cheaper and only marginally more fuss to make your own sauces. You might want to splurge on something exotic, such as a jar of some complex, hard to make Asian sauce. Ora big jar of versatile Marinara. You can usually save $1 or more per jar there, if you shop the specials and always check out the no-name and store-brand products.

And that little luxury… Just be sure to make it ‘little’. It’s too easy to spend too much on luxuries. Especially when they hit you with them while you’re trapped in line at the checkout!

My take

The 6 – t0 – 1 plan seems plausable and useful. But, as with all shopping methods, success depends on you making good decisions within the plan’s constraints. Planning your meals ahead of time and shopping with them in mind. Last but not least, resisting the temptations of  ‘specials’, ‘2 for 1’ deals, and point-of-sale suck-ins.

If the ‘6 to 1’ plan sounds good to you, give it a try! And let me know how it works out…

~ Maggie J.

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