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Stop throwing away the scraps from your veggies — you can grow a garden with them at home! Seriously. With grocery prices the way they are, growing your vegetable garden will help you get cheap, healthy produce for free. So, yes, learning about veggies you can grow at home can be a real game-changer.
Since you’ll be regrowing from veggies that you originally purchased, you may want to choose organic options at the store. That way, you can be confident that the vegetables you grow from the scraps are also free of pesticides and other chemicals that are sometimes found in commercial crops.
Keep in mind that some foods are more worth your time than others: You’ll have to plant and grow five heads of garlic to save $2.75. So if you don’t enjoy gardening, you might be better off buying fresh garlic at the store. But other plants are worth your time if you have room to grow them. You can save almost $20 by planting just five sprouted potatoes! The best part is, you don’t need a huge garden space for veggies you can grow at home. Most of these plants (except potatoes) can easily be grown at home in a small pot, and a lot of them can even be grown indoors!
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One of the easiest veggies you can grow at home is celery. When you get a bunch of celery, cut off the individual stalks, leaving the root end connected with an inch or so of each stalk left. Place that root in a shallow bowl with water (there should be a bit of stalk sticking out of the water).
Put the celery bottom on a sunny windowsill and spray the tops with water occasionally. In a few days, leaves will start to sprout. After about a week, transplant your sprouted celery to a pot with the leaves above the soil level. A whole new head of celery will appear in a few weeks.
This method also works for several other green, leafy veggies, including cabbage, lettuce, and bok choi.
Cost of one celery bunch at the store: $1.89
Total savings after regrowing five bunches: $9.45
You’ll never have to buy onions again once you get your crop going! Cut off the root end of an onion, leaving about ½ inch connected to the root for the best results. Plant the root in a sunny spot with a layer of soil covering it. Keep the soil moist and make sure the environment is warm (if you plant them outdoors, they need to come inside for cooler months). One onion root will grow one additional onion, but you can continue replanting the root ends for a continuous onion supply.
Cost of one yellow onion at the store: $0.78
Total savings after regrowing five onions: $3.90
You’ll need deep, sturdy pots or a garden to regrow this vegetable. Leave a potato out until it grows numerous small sprouts, or “eyes.” Cube it into two-inch pieces (each piece should have at least a sprout or two) and leave them out for a couple of days. Plant them around four inches below soil level with the sprouts facing up. As the roots appear, add more soil.
A single sprouted potato can produce up to four pounds of potatoes, so make sure you give the plant plenty of room.
Cost of one pound of potatoes at the store: $0.84
Savings after planting five sprouted potatoes (yields 20 pounds): $16.80
It only takes a single clove to get started on growing your garlic. Plant the clove root end down in soil or a shallow dish of water. Place in a warm, sunny spot. You’ll get new shoots coming out of the top in just a few days. Snip off these sprouts and use them in various dishes, like salads or pasta. They have a delicious flavor that’s slightly milder than garlic.
The garlic will continue to grow and eventually produce a new bulb. Use a clove from that bulb to repeat the process.
Cost of one garlic bulb at the store: $0.55 per bulb (about 10 cloves)
Savings after regrowing five cloves: $2.75
5. Ginger Root
Take a piece of the knobby part of your ginger root and plant it with the smallest buds facing up. Place it in a warm environment with indirect or filtered sunlight. New shoots and roots will begin growing. Wait until it’s ready to harvest, then pull out the entire plant and repeat the process with a new piece of ginger root.
Cost of one ginger root at the store: $2.19
Savings after regrowing five times: $10.95
While you can’t regrow the actual carrot, you can use scraps to regrow the leafy greens on top, which make an excellent addition to many meals, including salads and sandwiches.
Just chop off the top of a whole carrot and place them in a dish with a little water. Set the dish on a windowsill. The greens will slowly grow back out of the top.
Lemongrass can be grown with the same methods as regular grass. When you purchase fresh lemongrass, snip off everything but the root. Place roots in a glass jar with a bit of water, and leave the glass in a sunny spot indoors. In about a week, you’ll see some growth from your roots.
Once you see growth, transfer the root to some soil in a pot and place the pot outside in a sunny spot. When the grass is about 10 or 12 inches high, snip off what you need and leave the roots in place. They’ll continue to regrow to provide a continuous supply of lemongrass.
Cost of one lemongrass plant: $4.99
Savings after using five regrown plants: $24.95
8. Romaine Lettuce
When you buy a head of romaine lettuce, all you have to do is cut the base off (about 2-3 inches is good) and place it in a cup of water. New leaves will start to grow while the plant is still in the water cup. Once the leaves become too big for the cup you can plant the new lettuce in soil.
Cost of one romaine lettuce head at the store: $2.39
Savings after regrowing five heads of lettuce: $11.95
Regrowing basil (and other herbs, too!) is super easy. The process is similar to regrowing lettuce; snip off about four inches of the stem and place it in a cup of water. After a few days in a brightly-lit area, you should see roots forming in the water. Once the roots are an inch or so in length, transfer the plant to a small pot of soil.
Cost of fresh basil leaves at the store: $2.49
Savings after replanting five basil stems: $12.45
Total savings from replanting all of these:
|Savings after regrowing 5 celery bunches:||$9.45|
|Savings after regrowing 5 onions:||$3.90|
|Savings after planting five sprouted potatoes:||$16.90|
|Savings after regrowing 5 garlic cloves:||$2.75|
|Savings after regrowing 5 ginger roots:||$10.95|
|Savings after regrowing 5 lemongrass plants:||$24.95|
|Savings after regrowing 5 heads of lettuce:||$11.95|
|Savings after replanting 5 basil stems:||$12.45|