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Uses for Lemons

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There are many benefits to be gained from the use of lemons. You can cook with them, use lemons to clean the microwave, and use lemon juice on your face. Get more ideas for how to use lemons around the house in this page, uses for lemons.


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Tips on keeping lemons fresh or uses for lemons and a few lemon recipes.

  1. I wash and dry fresh lemons. Cut them into wedges and de-seed them. Toss them into a freezer proof bag or container.
  2. Whenever I need a lemon in my drink, I add the frozen wedges. No need to thaw, use them frozen. If you need lemon for cooking/baking, take the wedges out of freezer and let thaw a bit.
  3. I have my best results keeping lemons fresh (even halved) by wrapping first in good paper toweling, and then in wax paper, and keeping them in my fruit bin.
  4. I enjoy having cut up lemon in my Coke, lemonade, water, etc. However, often before I get the whole lemon used up, it becomes brown and soft.
  5. Now I quarter each lemon slice, lay it in a single layer on a cookie sheet, freeze,. Then I put them in a zip lock bag and return them to the freezer. I can buy lemons now when they are a good price, and freeze them and keep them handy!
  6. I love lemons, if for nothing else other than for a facial astringent and putting down my garbage disposal. I also like to use them on my salmon (fish) and in water. Once they get too ripe, that's what I use for cleaning.
  7. With all of this in mind, this is how I freeze them. Slices need to be cut, put on paper towels to soak up not all the wonderful juice but the extra that makes it almost impossible to enjoy once you take them out of the freezer. I make a slit in those before I freeze one. That way if you want to use it on a glass it's easy; I put it there before they are totally thawed out (some get limp if too thin).
  8. The ones you are using in quarters or halves do exactly the same thing. Don't squeeze them after you cut, just let them rest a couple minutes on something that absorbs. This way it's not sticky and messy when getting out of the freezer.
  9. Of course wash before starting to get ready for freezing. I find using before totally thawed lemon is best. Unless you are going to just squeeze them over salmon (fish) or for lemonade in the winter, then you can just wash, cut in two and put in a bag. I cut off a corner of a baggie and squeeze right through the bag to avoid any extra mess. You still can go back for the pulp.
  10. I slice all my lemons. Then I will wrap two or three slices together in Sarah Wrap. You can wrap more if you like. When I need lemon slices I just take out one of the little packages and the lemons are as fresh as when I sliced them.
  11. Do not wrap all your lemon slices together because you will have one big frozen lemon ball.
  12. I juice my lemons and put one cup at a time in zip lock bags for lemonade and recipes. If you freeze lemon juice in ice cubes, and then take the cubes and put a number of them in a zip lock bag, you can take out small amounts when you need them.
  13. I also freeze the rinds in a bag. If I need lemon zest, it's easier to grate when the rind is frozen. I also put the flush frozen lemon rinds down my disposal with hot water to fresh my disposal and kitchen. If you freeze your lemons, you'll have them available whenever you want them.
  14. I take the lazy way out - I freeze lemons and limes whole, untouched. I find that when I thaw them, they are easy to squeeze, and give a lot of juice. I buy them when they are on sale, and then I have them on hand at all times. I have never had a problem with doing it this way. It's so much easier than juicing a dozen or more lemons or limes, and I think I get a lot more juice out of them this way.
  15. Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest can be pretty pricey most of the year, but I eliminate this consideration by freezing the juice and zest when lemons are on sale.
  16. You can buy lemons in the winter when they are cheap and freeze the juice in ice-cube trays. One ice-cube section equals about 1 tablespoon of juice.
  17. Squeeze all the lemons until you having nothing but juice, get rid of all seeds. Pour the juice into clean ice cube trays and freeze cubes until solid. Store lemon cubes in a Ziploc freezer bag and now you have cubes to make a pitcher of fresh lemon aid. Place the lemon cubes in a pitcher and defrost, then add cold water and some sugar to taste.
  18. My husband and I purchased a whole box of fresh lemons from a fruit vendor at a flea market and a friend told me about juicing the lemons and freezing the juice in ice cube trays.
  19. Authentic Italian Ice
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 cup lemon juice (2 lemons plus reconstituted juice to yield 1 cup)
    • zest of 2 lemons, cut very fine
    • 2/3 cup sugar

    Heat water and sugar to boiling. Simmer for 5 additional minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice and zest. Cool to room temperature. Divide mixture evenly among three tubs. Freezer until firm. Shave; scoop into small cups and serve with a spoon or straw. You may wish to garnish with a small thin slice of lemon.

  20. Instant Lemonade

    You can mix 4 cups of lemon juice with 4 cups of sugar and stir to blend the mixture. Then put in a plastic tub and keep in the freezer. You can scoop a tablespoon or two anytime (the mixture does not freeze hard, but stays soft because of the sugar) in a tall glass and add cold water to make yourself an instant lemonade or dilute a greater amount in a pitcher for a crowd.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Lemons, what can you do with them? The tree is probably coming down in the future. Thank you very much.

By Pamela Rochelle Woodworth from Sun Lakes, AZ


January 12, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

1. Squeeze all lemons, pour juice into ice cubes trays, freeze solid and store them in a plastic bag in your freezer.


2. Grate lemon rinds and keep in refrigerator for recipes.
3. Fresh lemons make the best lemonade.
4. Bake several lemon meringue pies.

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January 12, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

We squeeze half a lemon onto our vegetables each night to cut down on salt use, and when cooking fish we cover with thinly sliced lemon in foil wrap and poach, then eat cooked lemon skin and all with fish. Yum

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January 12, 20100 found this helpful
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Boy do I wish I had your problem. I had a kidney stone, and lemon juice is mentioned over and over as a preventive measure. I drink a cup of warm water with juice of half a lemon every morning. I add lemon to water during the day too.

If you have a senior citizen center nearby, take the ones you don't need up there. Ask around and see if anyone has had a kidney stone, they will be happy to freeze any you can give them.

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January 12, 20100 found this helpful
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I have a lemon tree and I do everything with the lemons. One thing you can do is make a great house spice called 'gremolata.' It is made from salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley and dried lemon rind. This is good on everything, meat, fish, vegs. The only thing I don't use it on is fruit.


A squeeze of lemon juice makes all vegetables taste better. Look up recipes online. They would have a fight on their hands it they tried to take my tree down. I also have naval orange trees, fig tree, mango tree, banana trees, key lime tree, and a tangelo tree. I'm hoping they all survived the cold. Enjoy your lemons.

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January 12, 20100 found this helpful
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You can also use the lemon juice for cleaning and place a few peels down the disposal now and then to keep it smelling fresh.

Oh, and you can use dried lemon peels for potpourri in a pan of simmering water on the stove. Just be sure you keep an eye on the water running low.

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January 13, 20100 found this helpful
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This Christmas I made jars of lemons pickled in brine and bay leaves. They are fantastic in north African and middle eastern dishes like couscous and tagines.


they are also very expensive to buy. I also made all my own candied peel for my cakes and desserts this year as I cannot get it this Slovenia. Please don't take the tree down!

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January 26, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Squeeze the juice and use as a creme rinse in your hair brings highlights back. Lemon diluted with water sprays even on grass will bring fleas down. Give them to people at craigs list tell them u pick and haul. Lemon rubbed on acne , even other blemishes, then sit in sun, cures swelling and red marks clears up scarring , too. Only need 5 minutes. In winter plug in blow dryer, blow the skin, works also. Please do not cut lemon tree. Lemons have many uses.

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I have a bunch of lemons, any suggestions on how they can be used?


March 11, 20180 found this helpful
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I love lemons. There are so many uses for lemons. I use lemon literally everyday for something.


  • Lemonade
  • Squeeze lemon in soups, tea
  • Cook with lemon for chicken, salmon
  • Use to wash your hands after handling seafood/meats
  • Clean sink & deodorize garage disposal so it smells fresh
  • As decor (put in vase with flowers)
  • Make a citrus scrub

So much more you can do with lemons!

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March 12, 20180 found this helpful
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The first thing in the morning before you eat any food, squeeze half a lemon into warm water (not hot, as really hot water kills enzymes.) Add pure maple syrup to sweeten it. This is a very healthy drink without the sugar effecting your pancreas. (by using maple syrup instead.) Don't use artificial flavored syrup.

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March 12, 20181 found this helpful
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Use in baking, drinks and sauces. If you cant use them all now, grate the zest and freeze, then juice them and freeze.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 12, 2010

I use lemons in much of my cooking, but find the prices very high these days. I used to pass by the bags of lemons, never needing that many, but now when the prices are good, I buy a bag and do the following:


I first remove the zest and then juice all the lemons. I freeze the juice in small freezer containers. The zest I chop and freeze by putting a teaspoon or two on a square of plastic wrap, twisting it, and putting each in a freezer baggie labeled for one or two teaspoons. The "carcasses" I have found several uses for. I freeze them and when needed I thaw and use for:

  • Grind in garbage disposal to clean and deodorize.

  • Put one in refrigerator to deodorize.

  • Put one in simmering water for fresh kitchen smell.

  • Use to de-lime deposits on the sink.

  • Rub it on the copper to brighten the shine.

  • Rub one on my hands if I have been chopping onions.

In the end, it saves so much money, uses every bit of the lemon, and I always have fresh lemon and zest when I need it for cooking.

In recipes, I use the following guidelines:

Recipes calling for the juice of one:

  • Lemon: 2-3 Tbsp.

  • Lime: 2 Tbsp.

  • Orange: 2 oz.

Recipes calling for the zest of one:

  • Lemon: 1 Tbsp.

  • Orange: 2 Tbsp.

  • Lime: 1/2 Tbsp.

Source: My own desperation

By Nicki Rippeteau from Warrensburg, MI


Using It All - Lemons

This is very clever advice. Thank you so much. I shall take a note of it. (I have a lemon tree in my back yard.) Another use for the pith of the lemon is as a jam setter (pectin). Boil it up with citrus to set marmalade. (09/24/2009)

By merry woods

Using It All - Lemons

You can also freeze them (whole or quarter) by placing on a cookie sheet in the freezer and then, once frozen, transfer to freezer storage containers. Also, zest them first and dry the zest and place in an airtight container. (09/25/2009)

By Deeli

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

September 24, 2009

I keep looking for the price of lemons to go down, but alas, this is not happening. My family uses lemon in a variety of ways so hear are my tips. For the best buy, I usually look for fruit sold in bulk mesh bags; and until I started to use these little tricks, I would often find that at least one or two pieces of fruit had gone bad by the time I needed it.

When you first bring the fruit home, wash and dry every piece, then using the fine side of a hand grater (not a zester), grate off the rind of at least a few of the fruits. Store the zest in a small zip bag in the freezer to use in muffins, quick breads and other recipes.

Then squeeze the juice from all of the lemons that you will not be using within a week. Pour the juice into an ice cube tray and freeze. Store the lemon juice cubes in a zip bag of their own in the freezer.

When a recipe calls for two Tablespoons of lemon juice or more I can thaw as many cubes as I need. A cube has 1 1/2 Tablespoons of lemon juice.

This has saved me money and time! You can also use this for oranges and other citrus.

By Bobbie from Rockwall


Using It All - Lemons

I can go you one further. After I grate the lemon peel and juice the lemons, I cut the remaining peels into small chunks and use them in my garbage disposal. You can even freeze them and use them in the disposal as needed. They really help to get rid of that funky smell you sometimes get in your disposal! (08/16/2007)

By Donna N., San Diego

Using It All - Lemons

The best yet :) Lemons will help you lose weight! After reading so much about it, I decided to give it a try and I have lost something like 10 pounds in less than two months!

Just squeeze the lemon juice into a bottle, fill with water to the top - NO SUGAR - add some peppermint decoction for better taste if you like. Keep handy and drink whenever you feel thirsty during the day! (08/16/2007)

By Ouiser

Using It All - Lemons

PS Aldi's sometimes has great deals on lemons (08/17/2007)

By Robin

Using It All - Lemons

Maybe this is a silly question but I'm newbie to these things so I'll ask anyway...

Do not the ice cubes stick to each other when we put them in the zip bag?

Thank you!


By Orquidea Pires

Using It All - Lemons

You can also soak extra citrus peels in vinegar to make a nice deodorizing spray. This is great when you have animals, especially cats who mark their territory inside. Cats don't like the smell of citrus so they leave the place alone for a while. We do like the smell of citrus! (08/17/2007)

By Denise

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August 15, 2007

Many recipes call for a squeeze of lemon juice. Well, after wasting many lemons in cutting them open, I found a more thrifty way for a dab of lemon juice.

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