Yes Really, You Can Save Money By Regrowing Food From Kitchen Scraps

And all you need is water, sunshine and soil.
Did you know you can regrow basil stalks by putting them in water on your windowsill?
Elva Etienne via Getty Images
Did you know you can regrow basil stalks by putting them in water on your windowsill?

In the midst of a cost of living crisis, many of us are looking for ways to save money and some Tiktok users have one answer: regrow your own food.

It might seem like something that’s reserved for people who are experienced with gardening, have allotments and a lot of disposable income to spend on equipment and seeds but, realistically, all you need is some compost and leftover pots and jars.

The rest is all part of your weekly shop.

What’s more, by regrowing foods, you’ll be doing your part to reduce food waste – something that is hugely important in the UK as we throw away around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in a single year despite 8.4 million people in the UK experiencing food poverty.


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So which foods can you regrow from scraps?

Spring onions

Regrowing spring onions is incredibly simple. Here’s how to do it:

  • Cut the green top away from the onion and leave 3-5cm of the white base intact.
  • Place this into a shallow jar, glass, or mug and submerge half the plant in water.
  • Leave in a sunny place such as a windowsill and change the water every other day.
  • Take directly from the jar when ready.

Romaine lettuce

The white roots of lettuce are used for regrowth and to do this you simply:

  • Cut your lettuce leaves and leave 3-5cm of height on the roots.
  • Place it in a bowl with enough water to submerge around 1cm of the lettuce.
  • Place this in a sunny position and change the water every other day.
  • After two weeks, the lettuce should have sprouted new leaves and roots and, if so, plant into potting soil or compost for prolonged growth.
  • Harvest when the leaves are around 10cm.


If you’re a big believer that ‘there’s no such thing as too much garlic,’ we have great news – you can grow your own, too.

Best planted between November and April, garlic takes a short while to grow but is worth the wait. You can use old or fresh cloves for this but fresh ones tend to grow faster.

To grow your own garlic:

  • Split open a garlic bulb, being careful to leave skin on all of the cloves.
  • Place these cloves upright into a shallow bowl, jar, or mug and ensure that only the bottom of the clove is submerged in water.
  • Once again, place in a sunny position and change the water every other day.
  • Once shoots have grown, they’re safe to be harvested and eaten.
  • You can, however, grow full garlic bulbs by planting your sprouted cloves into soil, using a deep pot and only using one clove per pot. This should take around nine months to mature but you’ll know when your garlic is ready because the leaves turn yellow.

Chillies, tomatoes and peppers

Lots of seeded foods can be regrown from the seeds found inside of them – although some are easier to grow than others.

  • Separate your seeds from the food itself – you may find it easier to remove the pulp from foods such as tomatoes first.
  • Dry your seeds by placing them onto a paper towel for up to a week.
  • Plant into soil or compost and water regularly for best results.

Herbs such as basil and mint

Frequent garnishes and vital parts of many sauces, herbs are the finishing touch to the best meals – but buying them fresh can be expensive. Luckily, regrowing from cuts is simple and can be done year-round. Here’s how:

  • Separate your leaves as far as possible while keeping the roots intact.
  • Place this into a glass or jar filled with water and place in indirect light.
  • Change the water every 5-7 days.
  • Use the leaves as and when you need to and watch it continually regrow over time.