Clever Ways to Use Food Scraps


organic compost

The worst part about grocery shopping is when you hand over your credit card — food is expensive! What makes it worse is we don’t eat everything we buy. There are leftovers that can’t be saved and there’s usually a cucumber we find rotting away in the back of our fridge drawer. It happens to the best of us.

However, there’s a whole lot more that can be done with what we don’t use in our kitchen. Leftover produce can be used as compost or even replanted in your home garden. It’s a lot simpler than you think. With the cost of living these days, why not get the most out of your money?

Here’s a few tips, rules and hacks to remember when repurposing your food scraps.


Starting up your very own compost pile is easy. You’ll want good air flow, heat and moisture to encourage decomposition. Raking your scraps and soil regularly, as well as keeping them well watered in direct sunlight, will cover all your bases. You can eventually add this dark, rich soil to your garden, or use it to pot new plants.

Leftovers of almost any kind are welcome. Egg shells, fruit and vegetable peels, old tea bags, soured milk or stale bread are a few good starters. You should also add coffee grounds into your compost. They add nitrogen to your soil and help repel pests.

9/13/2018 4:11:50 PM

I am skeptical about a lot of tips on regrowing food from scraps. I've tried celery before and it's not this easy -- celery is a finicky plant that requires a lot of nutrients to grow, and has to be blanched unless you are okay with very dark, bitter celery. When I regrew my celery from scraps, visitors in the garden couldn't identify what vegetable my celery plant was unless I told them, because it was so dark and branchy. I've also tried avocados with no luck. Potatoes use the energy in their tubers to provide that first burst of energy, so I don't think a potato plant grown from a small piece of skin would be very successful. Many of the suggestions in the linked article suggest to plant the seeds in your scraps, except that most commercial vegetables are hybrids and many are sterile hybrids. If you are planting seeds from an heirloom veggie though, then that's a great idea. Most fruit (including apples, cherries, peaches) do not grow true to seed so you can grow them, but they won't produce a tree/fruit that looks like the parent. "Johnny Appleseed" planted apple seeds because it was against his religion to graft a tree (it was considered violent). The fruit from the trees he planted were no good to eat; they were used to make hard cider. The only scraps I have been super successful with are garlic and onions (planting the bulb/clove). You could do potatoes, but I think you would want to sacrifice at least part of each potato (a piece with 1-2 eyes and a good amount of tuber attached) and at that point you may as well buy a whole potato and cut it into pieces to plant. And at *that* point you might as well buy a few seed potatoes that will perform better in your garden than a grocery store one bred to perform under large agricultural conditions.

9/5/2018 6:07:06 PM

Gooddirt18 I bury all my food scraps in my garden

9/5/2018 6:04:39 PM

gooddirt18 I dig a hole in my garden and bury all my veggies and fruit scraps.

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