Monday, March 24, 2014

Shopping, Then and Now

BBBH went to market, vanilla stayed home. That led to some riffling through some old newspapers, as I was looking for some material to use in a post later in April.

The newspaper is dated April 12, 1965.  For the most part I don't look at grocery ads and such things, but just for fun, how about a comparison of  "then" and "now"?

If you have an interest in such things, you might note that Ann Margret and Michael Parks are playing in the show at the local movie house. Ann-Margret is a familiar name, and I recall some shows I have seen her in.  Who is Michael Parks?

Back to the task at hand.  Apparently bacon had not yet been discovered.  Poor orphan, going for nineteen cents the pound.  Over at Hank's, I see that we can get ground beef for thirty-seven cents.  The market today does not sell "ground beef."*  It sells "ground chuck," or "ground round," or "ground sirloin," and some packages will be labeled "Angus" and some won't be.  Prices will range from $3.49 to five bucks and more.

This is one dad who is glad his little bread snappers were growing up during the thirty-seven cent era.

Just for fun, the eggs at three dozen for the dollar are now about two dollars the dozen.  What is that, 500% increase?

You might observe here that you could invest your spare cash (who had any of that?) in notes paying 7.053%.  My bank is currently paying less than one-half of one percent.  "Inflation" you might be thinking of the Sixties.  And you would be right.  The difference is, the seven percent or so would pretty much insure that when the note comes due you will not have lost money.  You cannot say that about your "investment" today.

Oh, and you can buy some prescription glasses for under twelve bucks.

Yet I don't need glasses to see that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  If you are raising a family, there shall always be too much month at the end of the money.

*Once upon a time I worked in a butcher shop.  It was my job to prepare the "ground beef."  I could give you a recipe for 100 pounds of hamburger, but perhaps you really don't want to know.


Vee said...

Your statement, "too much month at the end of the money," was a reality in our household when we had four kids at home. Well, maybe it still is. A reality.

Bacon has made it to the big time. Last month's Food Network Magazine was "The Bacon Issue." There are recipes in that issue for bacon in almost every kind of food (including cupcakes). Likely, we will see the price of that meat double. Is it actually a meat?

Shelly said...

Oh, the times have truly changed. Wow- those prices really give me pause to think. What happened that put us where we are today?

Secondary Roads said...

It is fun to look at that, but compare that to a family's income during those days.

vanilla said...

Vee, bacon is still bacon, and to be enjoyed with waffles or hotcakes, every other Saturday morning. Cupcakes? I don't think so.

Shelly, what has happened? Wages go up, prices go up; wages rise, prices rise. I think it is called "inflationary cycle."

Chuck, I did that comparison. Income increases ten-fold, prices go up tenfold, as a general rule.

Of course in the case of bacon, more like 30-fold, but that's a fad that will surely pass. How many containment facilities can the earth support?

Grace said...

Oh, Michael Parks *sigh* had a huge crush on him way back when...

Funnily enough was at the grocery this morning and picked up a pound of bacon - actually 12 ounces @3.99 - man was there stocking some other brand than I buy - he commented that the price of bacon, sausage and pork in general will be going up due to the harsh winter: the rise of feed prices and the number and health of the piggies. I said to my husband "Think I should stock up?" Bacon man laughed and said "I'm going to!"

(I was planning to write about bacon today - so you may be reading this twice.)

vanilla said...

Grace, so your bacon was $5.32 per pound. I suppose I shall never break myself of using ounces and pounds as standards, but the marketers surely don't like them much anymore. Gallons and quarts, likewise. And yes, pork will go up, as will most every other grocery commodity.

Grace said...

And if you can find a one pound package of Gwaltney it is usually something like $4.69-$4.99...This discrepancy has been noted but I'd rather not think about it because I REALLY like Gwaltney.

Lin said...

What Chuck said. What was a "decent" income back then? I was only 2...I don't remember. All I know is that we cloth diapers--no disposables back then.

Bacon is going up due to a strange virus that is killing baby pigs. They don't know how to stop it and it's destroying the pork industry. (I listen to WGN in the mornings)

vanilla said...

Lin, "decent" is a relative term when talking salaries. Depends on who is talking. Objective comparison: in '65 my salary was about $6100, which, according to Morgan Friedman, adjusted to today's dollars would be approximately $44,500. Fed and housed wife and three kids at the time. (Fourth child in '67.)

vanilla said...

Grace, not familiar with Gwaltney's, but I am keenly aware that not all bacon is created equal.

Sharkbytes said...

I'll bet whatever your recipe was it didn't include pink slime. In 1965 I was just leaving home for college, and soon to set up housekeeping in 1968. We made $45 a week, which was pretty low even then, but at least you could eat. I think things are pretty much snafu-ed

vanilla said...

Sharkey, no, just pure tap water (one gallon = eight pounds, times the price of hamburger per pound). 'Nuf said.

Happily for all, you were able to eat!