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How much is a lemon?

Cost of Lemons - 2011

69¢ for a single organic lemon (2011).  Whole Foods market.  Los Angeles, California.  May 26, 2011.

50¢ per lemon when purchasing a $3 bag of six lemons (2011).  Reported cost for a bag of six lemons. “Have you noticed how much 3 lemons cost lately? It could be as much as $2 [$2/3 lemons = 67¢], but a bag of lemons could cost you $3 and you get triple the amount [$3/6 lemons = 50¢].” (Stephanie Schandler, “Top 10 ways to save money at the grocery store,” Long Island Examiner, Long Island, New York, March 13, 2011)

39¢ for a single lemon (2011).  Trader Joe's market.  Los Angeles, California, May 26, 2011.

24.8¢ per lemon when purchasing a $1.49 bag of six lemons (2011).  Trader Joe's market.  Los Angeles, California, May 26, 2011.


“Don't let the price of lemons put a squeeze on your budget -- fight back with your own lemon tree. 

According to wholesale citrus tree growers, lemon trees are by far the biggest sellers among the many different citrus varieties available to home gardeners.” (1)  

— Bill Sidnam
Garden writer


$2 for three lemons or 67¢ per lemon (2011).  Reported cost for three lemons.  “Bagged items such as potatoes, onions, oranges, apples along other produce are usually a good deal when you buy the 5 lb bags. Have you noticed how much 3 lemons cost lately? It could be as much as $2, but a bag of lemons could cost you $3 and you get triple the amount. Squeeze your lemons when you get home and save in a glass jar in your refrigerator or freezer for future uses.” (Stephanie Schandler, “Top 10 ways to save money at the grocery store,” Long Island Examiner, Long Island, New York, March 13, 2011)

$1.69 (2009).  Price of a lemon (2009).  “Have you seen how much lemons cost these days at the supermarket? They were $1.69 each last time I checked. EACH. A single lemon. Uno limon. One yellow fruit that you cut up to put in your ice tea. I'm going to sell my Google stock and invest in lemon futures.” (Charles Memminger, “Soured over price of lemons,” The Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu, Hawaii, November 15, 2009)

$1.29 (2008).  Cost of a lemon in Los Angeles in 2008.  “[P]oor weather [during the summer of 2008] caused world-wide lemon shortages, resulting in skyrocketing prices.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture even reported in May 2008 that crops are down 12 percent compared to last year.  The result:

Frustrated consumers concerned about the lack of available lemons nationwide, which only worsened as lemon demand increased during the warm summer months.  Savvy lemon-lovers looking to enjoy fresh lemon taste, and save money, are turning to True Lemon -- the original, all-natural crystallized lemon which you can use anywhere you'd use fresh lemons.  One box of True Lemon, at a MSRP [manufacturer's suggested retail price] of $3.29, is the taste equivalent to 12 lemons.  Compare that to prices in places like Los Angeles, where lemons cost $1.29 each -- and that's a $12.19 savings.” How much are California lemons? (True Lemon press release, “Soaring Lemon Prices Leave Consumers Sour,” Reuters, Wednesday, August 13, 2008)

$20 (2008).  Net profits per box of lemons reported for growers in 2008. “Lemon prices, which have been at an all-time high in supermarkets, are expected to drop shortly, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation. Prices were high due to effects of a freeze two years ago.  Also contributing to high prices were drought conditions, which reduced overall crop sizes during this year's growing season. . . . Lemon growers are seeing net profits of $20 per box this summer [2008], significantly more than the $5 per-box profit that is typical, [said David Schwabauer, who sits on the California Farm Bureau Federation’s board of directors and runs of Leavens Ranches a lemon ranch in Santa Paula, California in Ventura County].  The pricing is subject to supply and demand, and a limited supply of lemons has been available this year because of the previous freeze and drought. Further, Spanish suppliers are keeping their fruit on European markets because of the Euro's strength against the dollar.” (“Lemon prices, at all-time highs, are expected to fall,” Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, California, August 26, 2008)

$50 (2008).  Price charged for a box of lemons in 2008.  “The price of lemons has soared recently, thanks to the triple whammy of a crop-wrecking frost in California last year, problems with overseas harvests this year and the nation's ongoing struggle with fuel costs. It means businesses and consumers are paying significantly more over 2007 for lemons and products made from them.  ‘Out of nowhere, I saw prices double,’ says Elias Carofilis, owner of San Antonio-based The Lemonade Company. "So now, my Original Lemonade retails at $ 4. In July ' 07 they were going for about $ 2.50." It's yet another case of having to pass on the cost. Carofilis, who sells his drinks at roadside stands, fairs and other events, said a box of lemons that cost  him $ 20 to $ 30 last year now runs as much as $50.” Lemon cost. (“Soaring lemon prices may leave you feeling sour,” The Sanford Herald, North Carolina, September 10, 2008, p. C01)

99¢ (2002).  Price of standard large lemons.  “Standard large lemons have been particularly pricey: 99 cents each at many supermarkets, though we've also seen them at 89 cents and 79 cents.  Small lemons cost less -- $1 for three or four of them at many stores. At one independent market, we saw them at 10 for $1.” (Judith Blake, Seattle Times staff reporter, “Lemon love: cost of puckering up,” The Seattle Times, Seattle, Washington, December 11, 2002, p. E1) 

4.2¢ per teaspoon (2002).   Price per teaspoon of lemon juice squeezed from small lemons selling for four for a dollar.  “So which is the better deal -- large or small lemons?  To find out, we squeezed the truth, along with the juice, out of a passel of lemons. . . . Of the two, which is the better buy? At current prices, small lemons usually are the best deal, our test showed. Here's what we found:  

  • Large lemons.   The ones we squeezed averaged 15.5 teaspoons of juice apiece. At 99 cents per lemon, that's about 6.4 cents per teaspoon [for large lemon]. Half a cup (24 teaspoons) comes to $1.53.  At 89 cents per large lemon, the cost is 5.7 cents per teaspoon, or $1.38 per half cup.  At 79 cents per large lemon, you pay 5.1 cents per teaspoon, or $1.22 per half cup. . . .
  • Small lemons.  Four small lemons yielded a total of 24 teaspoons of juice -- 4.2 cents per teaspoon when the price is four lemons for $1 [25¢ per small lemon]. Half a cup comes to $1.  When small lemons are three for 99 cents -- a price we saw at some stores -- the cost for one teaspoon is 5.5 cents, still slightly less than for large lemons at many stores. Half a cup: $1.32.  At 10 small lemons for $1, you get a real deal: 1.7 cents per teaspoon, or 40 cents for half a cup. But that's an uncommon price.”
(Judith Blake, Seattle Times staff reporter, “Lemon love: cost of puckering up,” The Seattle Times, Seattle, Washington, December 11, 2002, p. E1)

Lemon Fresh Lemons (10 lbs.) Thirty-seven (37) lemons freshly picked just to fill your order.  "Best price and [fresh] fruit available.  Fresh picked only to fill your order.  Delivered Priority Mail in 2-3 days from order.  Home delivery.  All naturally grown environmentally friendly lemons from our orchards at Hickory Hill Farm, California, USA.  Always know where your lemons have been.”  Wax-free, non-spray, non-irradiated.  Where to buy lemons?  Hickory Hill Farm. Buy a case of lemons.  Read lemon reviews and ratings by customersBuy lemons fresh from the lemon tree. 

 Music for Lemon Lovers... 


"For that old-fashioned front-porch feeling,
put your homemade lemonade
in a pretty pitcher filled with ice cubes.
Gather some fresh mint leaves
to garnish each tall, frosty glass,
and all your friends and family
will tell you the trouble was worth it. (5)

                                                  Joyce Rosencrans


69¢ (1995).  Price of a large lemon.  “The price is right, too: The fruit weighs in at anywhere from 20 cents (for a small lemon) to 69 cents (for a large one).” Price of a lemon. (Tom Sietsema, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Fruit Of The Poor Lemon Is Quite Possible To Eat,” March 29, 1995, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, p. C-4) 


(1) Bill Sidnam, veteran Southern California garden writer, “Lemon tree, very pretty, and you can save some bucks,” The San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego, California, September 17, 2006, p. I-17
(2) Carole Kotkin,, “Without lemons, life would lack zest,” Miami Herald, May. 13, 2010.  See books by Carol Kotkin.  Follow Carole on Twitter.
(3) Sharon Sanders, “A Fan Tells Why She's Sweet on Lemons,” Chicago Sun-Times, March 18, 1993 - Buy a case of lemons
(4) Kate Chynoweth and Elizabeth WoodsonLemons – Growing, Cooking, Crafting, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California, 2003
(5) Joyce Rosencrans, Scripps Howard News Service, “Refreshing Ways To Use Lemons On Summer Days,” Press-Telegram, Long Beach, California, July 21, 1994, p. G9


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