This Is What Groceries Cost the Year You Were Born

This Is What Groceries Cost the Year You Were Born

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The end of WWII brought soldiers back home. The end of wartime rationing made prices of many foods rise. Plus, a successful ad campaign led many Americans to view milk as a healthy part of a daily diet, which increased demand (and prices).

In the mid-1940s, $1 was more like $14.12 today.

Milk: 63¢ per gallon

Eggs: 58¢ per dozen

Chopped beef: 27¢ per pound

Find vintage recipes from the ’40s worth making today.

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A frustrated woman with a mess in her kitchen from trying to bake a cake. It was an early ad for Bisquick.Underwood Archives/UIG/REX/Shutterstock


In the late ’40s, the National School Lunch Act required school lunches to include 1/2 to 2 pints of whole milk, causing the price of milk to leap. In the home kitchen, processed foods became more popular. For example, cake mix was introduced in 1950.

Back then, spending $1 would be more like spending $10.55 today.

Milk: 83¢ per gallon

Egg: 60¢ per dozen (about $6.40 in modern dollars)

Bread: 30¢

Chopped beef: 53¢ per pound

See what other vintage food products might be older than you’d expect!

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Woman Cooking in Kitchen with Young Boy Eating Cookies with MilkGlasshouse Images/REX/Shutterstock


The increased industrialization of food production brought along more changes. For example, glass milk bottles were largely replaced with disposable paper cartons. This was also the year the microwave oven was sold to consumers; at least, to people who could afford one—they cost the equivalent of $12,000 today!

Milk: 93¢ per gallon

Egg: 61¢ per dozen

SPAM: 39¢ per can

Take a closer look at our favorite foods from the 1950s.

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