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Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue

This n' That


The price was right


01/30/2008 - There's no better way to get depressed these days than to go shopping and pay outrageous prices for such necessities as food, clothing, gasoline and so forth. Of course, you don't have to go shopping in order to fork out money for other necessities such as electricity, natural gas and phone service; those high prices come to you every month without even having to leave your home.

These economically bad times in which we live make me long for the "good old days" when prices weren't so high and times weren't so stressful. In my case, those times would be the 1970s and the early part of the 1980s, when I didn't have to worry about how much a trip to the grocery store or department store would cost. Those worries were left to my parents, since I was still young enough to get a free ride in life. In those days, especially when I was a kid, all I had to worry about was remembering the price of a particular item long enough to get back home and get enough money from Mom to pay for it.

To help remember just how good those old days were, I got on the Internet to check prices from the 1970s and 1980s, and I was amazed at how little my folks had to pay for things. Of course, prices back then were considered as high as they are today, but back then I didn't have to worry about it.

Here are some prices from the 1970s I found on the Web:

• Chevrolet Corvette: $5,472 in 1972 and $12,313 in 1979.

• Cadillac De Ville: $6,168 in 1972.

• Men's suits: $37.95 in 1970.

• Puma athletic shoes: $12.95 in 1978.

• Men's dress shoes: starting at $21.80 in 1976.

• Wrangler jeans: $9.95 in 1978.

• Men's shirts: starting at $12.99 in 1976.

• Women's dress: starting at $37 in 1976.

• Women's skirt: $34 in 1976.

• Ajax cleaner: 15 cents in 1970.

• Alka Seltzer: 39 cents in 1971.

• Apples: 59 cents for four pounds in 1970.

• Bananas: 12 cents per pound in 1970.

• Bathroom tissue: 13 cents in 1970.

• Campbell's tomato soup: 10 cents in 1970.

• Crest toothpaste: 77 cents in 1970.

• Fresh turkey: 43 cents per pound in 1971.

• Frozen French fries: 60 cents for five pounds in 1971.

• Heinz ketchup: 19 cents in 1970.

• Hellmann's mayonnaise: $1.39 in 1978.

• Morton's TV dinners: $1 for three in 1970.

• Pork chops: 59 cents per pound in 1970.

• Sliced bacon: $1.29 cents per pound in 1978.

• Potato chips: 89 cents for 24-ounce bag in 1971.

Prices, of course, were a little higher in the 1980s but still much lower than they are in the 2000s:

• Milk, 2 percent: $1.59 a gallon in 1987.

• Bread: 55 cents a loaf in 1986.

• Flour: 99 cents for five pounds in 1981.

• Ground beef: $1.39 per pound in 1980.

• Miracle Whip salad dressing: $1.27 in 1981.

• Skippy peanut butter: $1.49 in 1986.

• Pork and beans: 40 cents in 1987.

• Pot roast: $1.49 per pound in 1986.

I always wondered when I was younger what older people meant by "the good old days." Looking at these prices, I guess I was living the good old days at the time and just didn't know it.

In the future, today's kids will be able to tell their children they remember the good old days when gasoline was just $3.09 a gallon, and a gallon of milk was only $3.50.

Now, THAT'S depressing.

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