At the grocery stores, lemons can cost anywhere between 50 cents and (today) 89 cents apiece. A bag of lemons usually runs about 3.99, and the bag can contain nearly a dozen lemons. Do the math. Obviously, it’s far more economical to buy the bag of lemons, but how does one save money if half the lemons spoil before one has a chance to use all of them? Here’s the solution:

First of all, wash each lemon thoroughly and pat them dry with a paper towel. Once all the lemons are clean, use a zester like the one shown below made by Good Cook. I prefer this one over any other zester I’ve tried because it comes with a shield (the plastic green thing) to protect it and myself during storage, and when you install the green thing on the opposite side, it acts as a little tray to catch the particles from the lemons as you zest them.

Only zest the most yellow outside part of the lemon. The whiter part of the rind will be bitter.

Keep the zest from your lemons in a tightly sealed container in the freezer for use when a recipe calls for zest of lemon. I have a container of lemon zest from two years ago that dehydrated in the freezer, unbeknownst to me. I discovered this is a great way to keep lemon zest for future use.

Next, all you’re going to do is use a good juicer to extract as much juice from the lemons as you can, collecting the juice in a glass measuring cup or another type of container with a pour spout. Placing a strainer over the collection container will catch the seed and bulky pulp that might escape from lemons during the juicing process.

Once all the lemons have been squeezed of every bit of juice, pour the lemon juice into ice cube trays, preferably one that has a tight fitting lid like this one made by Tupperware:

Use a permanent marker to write on the lid to indicate the contents. The date would be good but not necessary, really.

One bag of lemons (that costs $3.99 or near that) yields enough lemon juice to just about fill an ice cube tray.

Did you know…

From Betty Crocker’s
Cookbook 1959

Each frozen cube of lemon juice equals approximately one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. This is going to vary slightly depending upon the size of compartments in your ice cube tray, and on how much juice you fill each compartment with. You could measure the amount of juice you pour into each compartment, but I’ve found this step to be boring and unnecessary. I fill the cubes 1/8″ from the top of the compartments to get a measurement of one tablespoon apiece. You’ll be able to eyeball the amount you need to equal one Tablespoon after you’ve measured one or two cubes worth.

One bag of lemons will just about fill an ice cube tray of juice for use anytime in the future.

Now you will have fresh lemon juice ready for any recipe that calls for it, or to make incredible fresh lemonade whenever you like.One of my favorite recipes that call for freshly squeezed lemon juice is for Pat Jester’s “Perfect Every Time Hollandaise Sauce” that compliments “Broccoli Rice Quiche“.

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