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Are We Paying More or Less Than We Did in 1955?

How much have prices really changed on some of the items you use everyday? If you were still holding on to Mom’s skirts in 1955 you may not remember the prices of food at the grocery store. We’re about to go through some common grocery items from 1955 to see how they stack up in terms of price to today’s equivalent. Whether at a large supermarket or a small grocer, you might be surprised at which prices have changed and which have stayed the same!

1. One Pound of Potatoes

Potatoes were just under 6 cents per pound in 1955. We used an inflation calculator to determine that value in today’s economy, which would be about 53 cents. Since the average price for potatoes today is about 57 cents a pound, it seems they worth about the same. And probably taste equally as delicious.

2. A Quart of Milk

A necessity in most homes, milk was priced fairly low in 1955 at an average cost of about 22 cents a quart. In today’s terms that would be about $1.94, which is only slightly more than what many grocery stores would charge.

3. A Roll of Toilet Paper

In 1955 one roll of toilet paper cost 9 cents which would equates to about 80 cents today. That seems like a fair deal and not too far from what we pay for a roll of TP these days, depending on which brand you buy.

4. One Pound of Round Steak

Selling for around 90 cents a pound in 1955, round steak in today’s cash would be about $7.96. The average price we pay for round steak these days is actually $6.00 which shows a pretty steep drop in price.

5. One Pound of Apples

Apples were just over 15 cents a pound back then, which would be $1.33 in today’s cash. And that’s about what they are worth today.

6. One Pound of Bananas

One grocery item that has not stayed the same price is bananas. Priced at around 17 cents per pound, that much money in today’s terms would be $1.50. Average banana prices these days hover around 48 cents per pound.

7. One Pound of Butter

In 1955 the price of butter was about 71 cents per pound. By today’s standards that would be a whopping $6.28! That cost is much higher than the $2.96 we pay for a pound of most types of butter in the dairy aisle today.


The next time you think you’re paying higher prices for basic goods, remember that it goes both ways. Of course we should also keep in mind that we have a lot more non-food and processed food products on the shelf now to encourage us to spend and many more choices in the produce department as well. Back then the basics got us through and it would be a few years before the snacks and cereals we love so much today were on nearly every shopping list.

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