Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sticker Shock

When I was a kid, I was constantly bombarded with comments from my parents talking about
"When I was a kid (fill in the blank) only cost (fill in the blank)"
Usually, this resulted in me thinking, yea well, you are old.
But now I find myself reminiscing about yesteryears prices.

Circa 1958 prices:

House: $30,000 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now $100,000
Average income: $4,650~~~~~~~~~~~~Now $35,000
Ford car: $1967-$3929~~~~~~~~~~~~Now $15,000 Plus
Milk: $1.01~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now $3 bucks a gallon
Gas: $.24 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Now $2.25 a gallon
Bread $.19~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now $2.50 a loaf
Postage stamp: $.04~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Now .44 cents & features the Simpsons!
Chef Boy-Ar-Dee spaghetti, 15 1/2 .oz can.: $ .19
Corned Beef: $.59 lb.

Swiss Steak: $.75 lb.
Libby Tomato Juice, 5 (46 .oz) cans: $1.00
Kraft Carmels, 1 lb pkg: $.37
Uncle Ben’s Rice, 14 oz box - $.19
Sunkist Oranges, 5 lbs.: $.49
Cantaloupe: $.05 lb.
Celery: $.04 lb.
Tuition at Harvard: $1,250 yr.~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now $35,000
Nathan's Hot Dog: $.25
Roundtrip airfare London to New York: $453

I was floored the other day, when I went to the toothpaste aisle. Since when does toothpaste cost $3 bucks a tube?
I'm not talking abot the designer stuff, most all of them- the vast array cost $3 bucks.

All along my grocery store excursion, I kept thinking, these prices are **crazy**.
The $10 watermelons, the $4 medium sized bottle of green Tabasco sauce, most everything just seemed over the top, pricewise.
I also noticed the ever shrinking product size. Cereal prices are through the roof, and the Quaker guy should hang his head in shame - $4 bucks a box for little packets of oats?

I suppose I should shut up, and go put $45 dollars worth of gas in my tank, and shell out $3 bucks for a tube of toothpaste.

I'm making myself look old.


Imee said...

Same here. My mom is usually the one who does the "then & now" price comparisons. I'm only 22 and yet I feel the very big changes in prices of commodities (or sometimes the "shrinking size" you've mentioned).

Dada said...

Oh Fran - you make me realize how much I miss my folks! (sniff, sniff) Thanks for today's trip down memory lane ("Mom").

BTW, I'm getting so close to canceling our newspaper which "buys" these articles that are all so pertinent to its readers.

Example column from yesterday's paper? Never combine the dinner tip to be divided between your waiter and wine server. It then went on to -- "Say you spend $100 on the meal and your wine server provides the three $100 btls of wine." (No, no exaggeration...) I guess the point is to remember to give separate tips, but I didn't finish the article.

Fran said...

Imee~ Even a youngin' like yourself starting to reminisce about how prices have changed. Wow!

Dada~ I used to get the lectures all the time...
"It was a nickel to ride the bus", and back in the depression era it was tight to cough up that nickel!

I just really found my jaw dropping again & again when going though the grocery store.
I suppose the toothpaste pricing floored me, because, although $3 bucks is not a huge sum of money, the price had tripled. And there is no debate that my wage has certainly not tripled.
It all ads up.

That newspaper article you mentioned was a little out of touch with reality. $100 bottles of wine- consuming multiple bottles? Are they kidding?
That calls for an editorial from you.
While the headlines tell of soaring unemployment and record breaking rate of foreclosures- they should be publishing articles on how to build a makeshift shelter, and lists of Social Services resources.
I fully understand how you gave up on the article in disgust. Separate tips for your wine server....
Please, Dada, serve them some "whine tips".
The door is wide open!

BTW... I remember back in the day when toothpaste was .99 cents....

D.K. Raed said...

you don't even need to look back that far! The same fresh bread that cost .88 in 2006 is now $2.50 ... well, not exactly the same ... the loaf weighs less (too bad I don't)!

Fran said...