A few years ago, David over at My Two Dollars created a great post talking about the value of items in 1972. It’s always shocking to see the prices from only 37 years ago, so let’s break this down a bit.
The Cost of Living in 1972
It should shock no one that the cost of living has increased since 1972, no matter where you are in America. Whereas you could buy a loaf of bread for $0.25, milk for $1.33, a postage stamp for $0.08 and a gallon of gas for $0.52, you’re now looking to pay way more today. In 2020, you’re looking to pay way more.
You should also note that the average income was $11,859 per year. So, let’s see what they spent their hard-earned dollars on. The numbers for the items below come from various sources including MeTV.com, The Vintage News and The People History.
Cost of Groceries in the 1970s
While prices in the 1970s and 2020 both vary depending on where you are, here is a list of groceries and their prices from the 1970s to today:
Can of Coffee
Hershey Chocolate Bar
Campbell’s Chunky Soup
Campbell’s Tomato Soup
And as a fun little fact, a Big Mac cost $0.65 in the 1970s!
Note that these prices do not take into consideration inflation. If you want to do some quick calculations, you can check out this inflation calculator. Like I said earlier, they also vary depending on where you are and what brand you’re buying.
Cost of Household Items in the 1970s
But we all know that there’s a lot more to living than just buying groceries, so here are some other big ticket item costs that you would have seen in the 1970s:
Tuition to Harvard
Cost of Having Fun in the 1970s
Everyone has their own way of having fun, and while the internet and computers might be more popular in 2020, they still had some great ways to have fun in the 1970s. From toys to music and going to the movies, we’ve got a selection of 1970s entertainment prices:
New Vinyl LP Album
Star Trek Action Figure
Oh, and just for a little tidbit of fun information—a ticket to Walt Disney World was $3.75.
Yes, the cost of living has gone up since 1970s. But if you take into consideration inflation and other factors, some things haven’t gone up as much as you’d think. Even so, in 2020, we need to make more money to enjoy the life we want.
What do you think about the cost of living in 1972? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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