Since I shop quite a bit at Costco, I’ve taken the habit to note, right on the products, the date I bought them, and the price I paid. This allows me to make sure that I get my money’s worth. I get some interesting surprises, but none more than the ReaLemon 100% Lemon Juice bottles I got at Costco.
To be honest – and why be anything else – I didn’t write on the bottles the price I paid, or the date, however, the expiration date on the second bottle is May 27th, 2013. This is over a year and a half ago.
I try to keep an updated Costco shopping list, adding to it products I need to renew. I saw that our bottle of Lemon Juice, in the fridge, was almost done, so I was about to add it to the list.
That’s when I noticed, lurking in the pantry, my lemon juice bottle’s twin! We had only consumed one of the bottles, not two, and our Costco savings could proceed unimpeded!
A little over the top, I know. But it’s fun to save money. I don’t remember how much I paid for those two bottle back then, but the price for the same thing is, these days, around $6.
Let’s say I got the bottle about a year before the expiration date, May 27th, 2012. Today is the 26th of January, 2015. So a span of 978 days.
I’ve probably had these bottles for longer, but never mind that for now.
Each bottle contains 945 ml of lemon juice, or just under a liter. The cost per 100 ml, based on today’s price, is 31.74 pennies. Let’s say 32.
Conservatively speaking, my real cost for non-fresh but still all-natural lemon juice is as little as 0.6 pennies a day, and that’s only using *one* of the two bottles. This figure will most certainly go down as I keep using the second bottle.
As you can certainly tell by now, I don’t use a crazy amount of lemon juice. I have a few recipes and vinaigrettes I do occasionally that call for it, but that’s it. So I pay less than 1 penny a day – probably less that 0.3 by the time the second bottle is done – for all the lemon juice I can use.
Costco’s ReaLemon Lemon Juice, made from concentrates, contains the following ingredients:
- Concentrated Lemon Juice
- Lemon Oil
Lemon juice used to be carried by long-haul sailing ships to prevent scurvy in sailors, because of the impossibility of keeping fresh fruits and vegetables for long period on board. The point is that Lemon juice *keeps*.
Despite the fact that this product expired almost a year and a half ago, I’ll be more than happy to use it and keep saving money.
In conclusion, Costco’s ReaLemon Lemon Juice, made from concentrate, was an excellent purchase, and I look forward to when I can buy another one and write the date on it! I’ve gotten a lot of value from this format, and would happily recommend it to anyone.
If you want to read an example of how I calculate my daily item costs, please check out this article about Folger’s Coffee, and for more information about the wonders of lemon juice, follow this link.
Please note that if I open the second bottle, and it’s completely gross and unusable, I will be happy to review this article, state the facts, and close off my costs at 0.6 pennies a day for lemon juice. It is still acceptable!