Weird History
727 voters

How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020

February 20, 2020 4.1k votes 727 voters 49.0k views13 items

List RulesVote up the grocery store items that you'd rather pay 2020 prices for.

People love to wax poetic about the days of old when a person could see a movie for a nickel or buy a soda for a dime, but was that really the case? Sadly, the answer is a resounding no. People who reminisce about the "good ol' days" are forgetting one important factor: inflation. 

While data from the 1940s might make grocery store items look cheaper than they are today, when you use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics's inflation calculator to see how much those items really cost, the prices are not so different. So, before you try to pull a Marty McFly and go back to the 1940s to save some money, take a look at the grocery prices below and see if the effort is truly worth it. 

  • 1
    388
    115

    Eggs

    1940: $0.33/dozen

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $6.12

    2020: $1.46

  • 2
    412
    144

    1940: $0.06/pound

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $1.11

    2020: $0.57

  • 3
    271
    87

    Potatoes

    1940: $0.23/pound

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $4.27

    2020: $0.80

  • 4
    247
    84

    Steak

    1940: $0.36/pound

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $6.68

    2020: $5.96

  • 5
    246
    92

    Milk

    1940: $0.25/half gallon

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $4.64

    2020: $1.62

  • 6
    233
    86

    Bread

    1940: $0.08/pound

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $1.48

    2020: $1.35

  • 7
    186
    68

    Pork Chops

    1940: $0.27/pound

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $5.01

    2020: $3.85

  • 8
    202
    87

    Rice

    1940: $0.08/pound

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $1.48

    2020: $0.07

  • 9
    142
    124

    Bacon

    1940: $0.27/pound

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $5.01

    2020: $5.50

  • 10
    117
    103

    Cheese

    1940: $0.26/pound

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $4.83

    2020: $5.20 (price for Chedder)

  • 11
    117
    114

    Coffee

    1940: $0.21/pound

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $3.90

    2020: $4.17

  • 12
    96
    115

    Chuck Roast

    1940: $0.23/pound

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $4.27

    2020: $5.39

  • 13
    81
    128

    Navy Beans

    1940: $0.06/pound

    1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $1.11

    2020: $1.43 (all bean types)