Weird History

How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020 

Garri Chaverst
February 20, 2020 928 votes 239 voters 14.2k views 13 items

List Rules Vote 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
Bananas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020

1940: $0.06/pound

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $1.11

2020: $0.57

2
Eggs is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Eggs

1940: $0.33/dozen

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $6.12

2020: $1.46

3
Potatoes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Potatoes

1940: $0.23/pound

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $4.27

2020: $0.80

4
Bread is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Bread

1940: $0.08/pound

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $1.48

2020: $1.35

5
Milk is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Milk

1940: $0.25/half gallon

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $4.64

2020: $1.62

6
Steak is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Steak

1940: $0.36/pound

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $6.68

2020: $5.96

7
Rice is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Rice

1940: $0.08/pound

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $1.48

2020: $0.07

8
Pork Chops is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Pork Chops

1940: $0.27/pound

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $5.01

2020: $3.85

9
Coffee is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Coffee

1940: $0.21/pound

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $3.90

2020: $4.17

10
Bacon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Bacon

1940: $0.27/pound

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $5.01

2020: $5.50

11
Cheese is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Cheese

1940: $0.26/pound

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $4.83

2020: $5.20 (price for Chedder)

12
Navy Beans is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Navy Beans

1940: $0.06/pound

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $1.11

2020: $1.43 (all bean types)

13
Chuck Roast is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list How Much Grocery Store Items Cost In 1940 Vs. 2020
Chuck Roast

1940: $0.23/pound

1940 Adjusted For Inflation: $4.27

2020: $5.39