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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Historical Inflation--Comparing Purchase Power

Use this handy, dandy calculator to figure the differences in purchasing power by comparing years.

My allowance in 1956 when I was about nine-years-old was $1. I paid for 2 Krystal  hamburgers and Coke. Then, I walked my three younger siblings across the street in downtown Jackson, Mississippi, where I paid for my movie ticket to see a double feature, news, and cartoons. My younger siblings who had their own money wanted candy in the theater, but I convinced them not to buy any expensive candy because we could get a candy bar for a nickel during the week. In 2011, according to the article, it would take $8.27 to purchase the same items today.

 Two hamburgers, Coke, and movie? No! I would need more than $8.27 to get the same thing.

My parents gave us the $1 in anticipation of sending us to the movies. I managed to save $11 in a savings account.

Your turn
Do you remember when Coke was a nickle? What did you have in mind, like my dollar, that meant something to you long ago?


  1. AND, looking at this from a different direction, that candy bar was a LOT larger than one you get today for $1.50!

    My food fantasy has always been to eat one of the first 3 Muscateers bars, or an ORIGINAL Dilly bar before they became the size of a quarter.

    1. lotta joy,
      I often lament the fact that candy bars shrunk. Thanks for reminding me of that. Yes, the size of candy shrunk as the price went up.

      I suppose I would settle for one of my favorite bars in the original size. Tootsie rolls were as large as my finger. Now, the are skinnier and shorter. Kids don't know what we had.

  2. When I was six, my mother used to take us in the summers to a town a distance away for open air auctions. The auction house had an old coke machine which would provide a green glass bottle of coke for 15 cents. It was 35 cents in stores at the time. It was a little taste of Heaven.

  3. The old glass bottles from machines is a good memory all in itself. The Mid-South Fair in Memphis had a cheap coke in the building with animals. So, we braved the smell to save money. Yes, they were a little taste of heaven.

    1. Somehow the glass seemed to keep it cooler. It was a better experience than plastic or aluminum.

    2. Jane,
      You are so right about the glass keeping it cooler. My hands warm the plastic and aluminum faster.

  4. My sister and I each received a dime each week as an allowance. I lobbied for an increase to 11¢ My thinking that with 11¢ I could give my tithe and still have a dime left over. My mother said absolutely not!!! She went on to explain that I was being selfish.

    There was a small fountain in one of the little grocery markets in our neighborhood. You could get a coke for a nickle there.

  5. Janet,
    The $1 allowance was raised from our former allowance that was exactly $0. That is funny that you had it all figured out. That does not sound selfish to me. You were quite the little entrepreneur! After awhile, you initial "raise" would have just meant more for God. I remember the fountain cokes for an nickel. Those were the days!


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