Inflation Rewind: 7 Items That Cost an Arm and a Leg Less in 1972

Inflation Rewind: 7 Items That Cost an Arm and a Leg Less in 1972

Breaking news. People everywhere are hobbling out of grocery stores, theatres, post offices, and colleges with fewer limbs than ever before.  We’ve got hoppers.  We’ve got crawlers.  We’ve got consumers who have no choice but to roll.


To cope with this tragedy, we shall look fondly upon a time when prices were a third, a half, or even 25 times less than they are today.  Pine.  Lament.  Gasp.  Laugh.   Your reaction is your choice, as long as you have a little fun reminiscing in the process.  Here are 7 items and their prices in 1970.


  1. Sugar—$0.65 for a five pound bag

Many Americans have a relentless sweet tooth, but now that sweet tooth is going to cost them more than ever.  Not only has the bag size been reduced to 4 pounds, but that smaller bag costs over $2 more as well.


  1. Ground Coffee – $.99 per pound

Starbucks has changed the coffee prices forever.   I’d be happy to get a cup for $.99 let alone a pound.


  1. Ground Beef—$0.64 per pound

Nothing like enjoying a still-sizzling burger hot of the grill …for almost 4 times the price, that is!


  1. Movie Ticket—$1.75

Let’s not even consider the financial impact of the inhumanely large tub of popcorn and 5-gallon bucket of soda.  Even if you manage to escape the gravitational pull of those buttery, sugary aromas, the ticket is still hard on the wallet.


  1. Postage Stamp—$0.12

No wonder why people send so few letters today.  At almost 50 cents a pop with a lot more hassle, it’s hard to resist the convenience of clicking and typing your birthday wishes and personal notes.


  1. Gasoline—$0.55 per gallon

Who hasn’t complained about the price of gas a few times in their life?  I certainly understand the frustration.  For those who grew up in a time when gas cost little more than a pack of gum costs now, it can seem like a major rip off to pay well over $2 for one measly gallon.  Thank God for fuel efficiency.


  1. Tuition to Harvard—$2,800 per year

This one hits home with me.  Going to a private Christian school, I’m starting to feel the student debt itch that refuses to be scratched by even the most lucrative of summer jobs.  Can you imagine attending one of the most prestigious schools in America for $2,400 a year?  It just about makes me light headed.  Today?  Try $67,580—almost 25 times as much.  Geesh.


With the cost of college, I may run out of limbs to sell…I only need one of my kidneys, right?


Noticed any other items that would deserve a spot on this list?  Share them in the comments.  We love to hear from you.  It’s always a good time to think about how different life was 48 years ago!


Turning 65 soon and not sure what to do?  Need Medicare questions answered?  Call Seniormark at 937-492-8800 or click here to schedule a free consultation!


1972 price information courtesy of Seek Publishing, Inc – Birmingham AL

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