The cost of goods the year you were born

Written by:
November 17, 2020
Billwhittaker // Wikipedia

The cost of goods the year you were born

Do you splurge on bacon or hair dye? Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, did you just head to the movies or the bar? For as long as money’s been made, Americans have had to make choices on how to spend their hard-earned dollars.

Some years the choices have been easier than others with prices low and income high. Others, having to decide between transportation or housing seemed a bit more dire as the economy suffered and prices soared.

With the coronavirus wreaking havoc across the globe, Americans have been feeling the pinch not only in their paychecks, but their wallets, as the pandemic’s disruptions on the economy have caused an increase in the price of goods. The food at home price index, which includes the cost of items such as cereal, meats, fruits and vegetables, and nonalcoholic beverages, increased 4.3% from March 2020 to June 2020, after rising only 1.1% over the previous 12 months.

With millions of Americans out of work, underemployed, or laid off, the road to economic recovery will be a long one. But this isn’t the first time the American economy has been shattered by a crisis. Wars, extreme weather, political unrest, and more, have all affected the cost of goods and how Americans have spent their money.

Stacker took a look at historic average pricing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index to find what a sample basket of food cost from 1930 to 2020, including prices for fresh eggs, white bread, sliced bacon, round steak, potatoes, and milk. Inflation-adjusted prices are also included, to see how prices really compare to today. The data for 2020 was released on Oct. 29 and includes the average pricing through September 2020, the most current data available on the index.

Keep reading to discover how much basic goods cost in the year you were born and how world events have affected consumer spending habits.

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Public Domain // Wikimedia Commons

1930

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.45 ($7.01 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.09 ($1.40 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.43 ($6.70 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.43 ($6.70 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.86 ($13.40 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.28 ($4.36 in today’s dollars)

Coming off a stock market crash the previous year, the nation was plagued by economic peril. By March 1930, more than 3.2 million people were unemployed. In an effort to protect American businesses and farmers, President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which raised taxes on imports. Foreign governments contested the legislation, leading to a decrease in foreign trade and weakening of the foreign economy. Hurting the American economy even further was a banking panic—a loss of confidence in the security of banks, resulting in people withdrawing their money in large numbers.

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Wisconsin Historical Society // Getty Images

1931

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.35 ($5.99 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.08 ($1.37 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.37 ($6.34 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.35 ($5.99 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.24 ($4.11 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.26 ($4.45 in today’s dollars)

Food marches and riots occurred across the country, as did two more banking panics. People became increasingly frustrated with the lack of federal aid, and homeless families began to live in shelters in communities called “Hoovervilles.” The tumultuous year was capped off by the collapse of the Bank of the United States, the largest single bank failure in the country’s history.

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State Library of New South Wales // Flickr

1932

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.30 ($5.70 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.07 ($1.33 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.24 ($4.56 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.30 ($5.70 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.17 ($3.23 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.21 ($3.99 in today’s dollars)

Federal aid finally came through with the formation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which offered financial assistance to railroads, banks, and business corporations, later expanding to include agriculture, and state and local public works. President Hoover’s attempts to help the millions in need came a little too late however, as he lost to Democratic challenger Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the November elections.

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Wystan // Flickr

1933

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.29 ($5.81 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.07 ($1.40 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.23 ($4.60 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.26 ($5.21 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.23 ($4.60 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.21 ($4.20 in today’s dollars)

With 13 million people unemployed and banks in crisis, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his work cut out for him when he was inaugurated in March 1933. One of his first acts as president was closing all the banks for several days until they were found to be financially secure, giving Congress time to put together the Emergency Banking Act and effectively restoring the public’s faith in banks. Under FDR’s New Deal, Congress also put together several other programs intended to bolster the economy and create jobs, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Civil Works Administration.

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Jim Heimann Collection // Getty Images

1934

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.33 ($6.41 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.08 ($1.55 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.29 ($5.63 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.28 ($5.44 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.23 ($4.47 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.22 ($4.27 in today’s dollars)

Thanks to the implementation of New Deal programs, the economy began to grow, swelling to 10.8%, while unemployment fell to 21.7%. The price of goods also increased 1.5%.

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Walker Evans // Wikimedia Commons

1935

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.38 ($7.22 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.08 ($1.52 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.41 ($7.79 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.36 ($6.84 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.19 ($3.61 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.23 ($4.37 in today’s dollars)

The Social Security Act was passed by President Roosevelt in August, providing financial assistance to senior citizens, the disabled, and children in low-income families, as well as retired workers 65 and older. Meanwhile, unemployment throughout the country continued to decrease, falling to 20.1%, while the economy grew 8.9%.

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Public Domain // Wikimedia Commons

1936

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.37 ($6.93 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.08 ($1.50 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.41 ($7.68 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.34 ($6.37 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.32 ($5.99 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.24 ($4.49 in today’s dollars)

More federal programs were created to help the poor, unemployed and farmers, including the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act and the Rural Electrification Act, which provided help in bringing electricity to rural areas of the country. As unemployment continued to shrink, coming down to 16.9%, FDR was elected to a second term as president.

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SMU Libraries Digital Collections // Flickr

1937

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.36 ($6.51 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.09 ($1.63 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.41 ($7.41 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.39 ($7.05 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.28 ($5.06 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.25 ($4.52 in today’s dollars)

The economic recovery bolstered by the New Deal took a hit as unemployment increased to 20% and industrial production fell 32%. The stock market crashed again, with businesses blaming New Deal initiatives and the government blaming a lack of investment on the part of the businesses.

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Walker Evans // Wikimedia Commons

1938

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.37 ($6.83 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.09 ($1.66 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.37 ($6.83 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.35 ($6.46 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.21 ($3.88 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.25 ($4.61 in today’s dollars)

At the president’s request, Congress approved $3.75 billion in federal spending to jump-start the economy in April. By June, the economy had begun to grow again, but unemployment for the year remained high at 19%.

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Buyenlarge // Getty Images

1939

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.32 ($5.99 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.08 ($1.50 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.32 ($5.99 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.36 ($6.74 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.25 ($4.68 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.24 ($4.49 in today’s dollars)

The Reorganization Act of 1939 created the Federal Security Agency, tasked with improving social services like employment, education, and financial security. The agency had a special focus on advancing the economic status of African Americans, providing them job training opportunities and advocating for their inclusion in social safety net programs. Meanwhile, overseas, Adolf Hitler had invaded Poland, marking the start of World War II.

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H. Armstrong Roberts // Getty Images

1940

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.33 ($6.14 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.08 ($1.49 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.27 ($5.02 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.36 ($6.69 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.24 ($4.46 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.26 ($4.83 in today’s dollars)

By 1940, America’s economy was on the up-and-up, with unemployment continuing to decrease to 14.6%. And with a war raging overseas, American businesses got a boost from selling goods such as steel, ammunition, and food to European countries.

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U.S. National Archives and Records Administration // Wikimedia Commons

1941

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.40 ($7.08 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.08 ($1.42 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.34 ($6.02 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.39 ($6.91 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.24 ($4.25 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.27 ($4.78 in today’s dollars)

Though America had been trying to avoid entering World War II, the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the war right to its shores. Businesses began wartime production and a myriad of jobs opened up, including for women who joined the lines at defense plants as welders, electricians, and riveters. To help finance the war effort, Americans purchased war bonds, sold at 75% of their face value in denominations of $25 up to $10,000.

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Dorothea Lange // Wikimedia Commons

1942

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.48 ($7.66 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.09 ($1.44 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.39 ($6.23 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.44 ($7.03 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.34 ($5.43 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.30 ($4.79 in today’s dollars)

In an attempt to prevent hoarding, the Office of Price Administration set price limits and food rations. By the end of the year, Americans were required to use government-issued vouchers to purchase sugar and coffee, as well as gas and clothing. Communities also began collecting scrap metal, cans, and rubber to recycle and manufacture into weapons.

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John H. Boyd // Wikimedia Commons

1943

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.57 ($8.58 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.09 ($1.35 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.43 ($6.47 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.44 ($6.62 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.46 ($6.92 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.31 ($4.66 in today’s dollars)

The list of food that required vouchers expanded to include meat, cheese, fats, canned fish, and canned milk. With the war efforts in full-swing, President Roosevelt created the Office of War Mobilization to coordinate the country’s war agencies, including manpower and mobilization. By this time, 6 million women had also entered the workforce, giving them greater economic independence.

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Orange County Archives // Flickr

1944

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.55 ($8.13 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.09 ($1.33 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.41 ($6.06 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.41 ($6.06 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.47 ($6.95 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.31 ($4.58 in today’s dollars)

The war meant that unemployment had virtually disappeared in the United States, as women, minorities, and teenagers joined the labor force in droves, bringing the unemployment rate to 1.2%. The country was also leading the world in arms production, making almost 100,000 aircrafts a year. Defense jobs often paid workers more than they had ever earned before, allowing them the ability to save up or pay off debts. The passage of the GI Bill of Rights further opened up opportunities for veterans, providing them money to attend college, or buy homes or farmland.

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Bobak // Wikimedia Commons

1945

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.58 ($8.39 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.09 ($1.30 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.41 ($5.93 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.41 ($5.93 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.49 ($7.09 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.31 ($4.48 in today’s dollars)

When World War II ended in September 1945, the United States emerged economically stronger than any other country in the world. Factories that had previously made ammunition switched to making consumer goods, and Americans who had been living under rations for the past three years were eager to spend their money on everything from cars, to clothes to appliances. Due to restrictions on spending due to the war effort, Americans were also saving an average of 21% of their disposable income. Public policies assisted returning veterans in securing jobs, purchasing homes and starting families; however, many minorities still faced challenges in partaking in these opportunities.

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Marjory Collins // Wikimedia Commons

1946

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.59 ($7.88 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.10 ($1.33 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.53 ($7.07 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.52 ($6.94 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.47 ($6.27 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.35 ($4.67 in today’s dollars)

With hundreds of thousands of soldiers coming back from the war, Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946, which stated it was the responsibility of the government to maintain a high employment level of labor and price stability. Meanwhile, the private-sector economy flourished, with private investments rising 156%.

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U.S. National Archives and Records Administration // Wikimdia Commons

1947

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.70 ($8.17 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.13 ($1.52 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.78 ($9.10 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.76 ($8.87 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.50 ($5.84 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.39 ($4.55 in today’s dollars)

Increasing Soviet-U.S. tensions led to the Truman Doctrine of March 12, 1947, which formalized America’s intent to contain the expansion of Soviet communism and committed the country to the assistance of democratic nations threatened by authoritative forces. The annual average unemployment rate nationwide remained low at 3.9%.

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Don O'Brien // Wikimedia Commons

1948

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.72 ($7.78 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.14 ($1.51 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.77 ($8.32 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.91 ($9.83 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.57 ($6.16 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.44 ($4.75 in today’s dollars)

Named after its creator, Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Marshall Plan proposed offering European nations more than $15 billion in aid to rebuild after the war. The plan not only encouraged European countries to work together, but it bolstered the American economy, with goods being purchased from the United States and shipped on American merchant vehicles. However, a slight recession began in the country in November, leading into the next year.

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Public Domain // Wikimedia Commons

1949

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.70 ($7.66 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.14 ($1.53 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.67 ($7.33 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.85 ($9.30 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.55 ($6.01 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.42 ($4.59 in today’s dollars)

The country’s adjustment from a wartime to peacetime economy led to a brief recession that began in 1948 and continued through October 1949, when unemployment reached a yearly high of 7.9%. Gross domestic product (GDP) fell 1.7%.

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Public Domain // Wikimedia Commons

1950

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.60 ($6.48 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.14 ($1.51 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.64 ($6.91 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.94 ($10.15 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.46 ($4.97 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.41 ($4.43 in today’s dollars)

The year 1950 ushered in the era known as the Golden Age of American capitalism, two decades that saw a huge increase in the middle class, with blue-collar workers purchasing homes and buying appliances and cars with their rising wages. Homebuying was also spurred by the development of the “Levit home,” which utilized mass production techniques to build inexpensive tract homes in the suburbs. And in those homes, they put televisions—4.4 million Americans had a TV in their home by 1950.

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OSU Special Collections & Archives // Wikimedia Commons

1951

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.74 ($7.41 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.16 ($1.60 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.67 ($6.71 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.09 ($10.91 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.51 ($5.11 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.46 ($4.60 in today’s dollars)

The average family income was $3,700 in 1951—$400 higher than the previous year. It was notably the largest increase in family income recorded in any year since World War II ended in 1945. While income went up, so did prices, meaning that consumers only achieved a slight gain in purchasing power.

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Paul Townsend // Flickr

1952

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.67 ($6.58 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.16 ($1.57 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.65 ($6.38 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.11 ($10.90 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.76 ($7.46 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.48 ($4.71 in today’s dollars)

American prosperity continued, with unemployment at 3%. And as money poured into American households, so did the technology; by 1952, three out of five families owned cars, two out of three had telephones, and one out of three had televisions in their homes.

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Doug Colquhoun // Wikimedia Commons

1953

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.70 ($6.82 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.16 ($1.56 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.79 ($7.70 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.92 ($8.97 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.54 ($5.26 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.47 ($4.58 in today’s dollars)

After three years, an armistice signaled the end of the Korean War. The war cost the country $30 billion, financed largely by higher tax rates. With the war coming to an end, government spending rolled back and interest rates were raised to curb inflation, leading to decreased consumer demand and a recession.

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The Library of Virginia // Wikimedia Commons

1954

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.59 ($5.71 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.17 ($1.64 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.82 ($7.93 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.91 ($8.81 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.53 ($5.13 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.46 ($4.45 in today’s dollars)

The post-war recession that began in July 1953 continued, with the country’s GDP dropping by 2.2% and unemployment rising as high as 6%. But once the Federal Reserve eased policies meant to curb inflation, including price controls and increased interest rates, the economy bounced back in May. The median income for families was $4,200 in 1954, about the same as it was the previous year.

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State Library and Archives of Florida // Wikimedia Commons

1955

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.61 ($5.92 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.18 ($1.75 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.66 ($6.41 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.90 ($8.74 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.56 ($5.44 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.46 ($4.47 in today’s dollars)

Increased wage rates and higher employment led to men earning more than they ever had before, with the average median income a record level of $3,400, a $160 increase from the previous year. And for the 80% of men in the workforce who had full-time jobs, that median average was even higher, at $3,900. In contrast, many married women joined the workforce halfway through the year when job opportunities began expanding, making an average median income of $1,100, about the same as they took home the year prior.

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Pxhere

1956

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.60 ($5.74 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.18 ($1.72 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.57 ($5.45 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.88 ($8.42 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.68 ($6.51 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.48 ($4.59 in today’s dollars)

Americans were on the move and car sales were there to prove it. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation to construct an interstate highway system in 1956, leading to the creation of thousands of construction jobs as well as an increase in the number of roadside businesses. More workers also saw more money in their paychecks, as the minimum wage was raised to $1 per hour, an increase of 25 cents.

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Seattle Municipal Archives // Flickr

1957

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.57 ($5.28 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.19 ($1.76 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.74 ($6.85 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $0.94 ($8.71 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.57 ($5.28 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.50 ($4.63 in today’s dollars)

The country fell into another recession, as GDP decreased by 3.7% and unemployment rose to 7.4%. Government policies that had raised interest rates had also resulted in higher consumer prices, leading to a decline in spending. Making matters worse was an Asian flu pandemic, which not only killed 116,000 Americans, but also triggered a $4 billion loss in exports between August 1957 to April 1958.

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Joe Ross // Flickr

1958

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.60 ($5.40 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.19 ($1.71 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.79 ($7.11 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.04 ($9.37 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.63 ($5.67 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.51 ($4.59 in today’s dollars)

In an effort to bring the economy back from the recession, President Eisenhower increased government spending on construction projects and put more money into the nation’s up-and-coming interstate system. The plan worked, with the recession ending by April; however, average unemployment for the year was 6.8%. Credit cards also began to grow in popularity, with American Express launching an all-purpose credit card that could be used at stores, restaurants, hotels, and gas stations.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture // Wikimedia Commons

1959

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.53 ($4.74 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.20 ($1.79 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.67 ($5.99 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.07 ($9.57 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.63 ($5.63 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.51 ($4.56 in today’s dollars)

The average family income rose 6% to $5,400. For individuals, the median income was $2,600, a 5% increase from the previous year. With product prices rising only slightly, these record-high incomes were significant, giving American consumers more purchasing power than ever before.

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Maxpixel

1960

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.57 ($5.01 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.20 ($1.76 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.66 ($5.80 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.06 ($9.32 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.72 ($6.33 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.52 ($4.57 in today’s dollars)

The Federal Reserve began slowly raising interest rates following the end of the previous recession in 1958, leading to another short-lived recession in April. Over the course of the next 10 months, the GDP dropped by nearly 2% and unemployment rose to 6.9%.

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Public Domain Pictures

1961

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.57 ($4.96 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.21 ($1.83 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.71 ($6.18 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.04 ($9.05 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.63 ($5.48 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.52 ($4.53 in today’s dollars)

Coming into a new year with a modest recession, newly inaugurated President John F. Kennedy gave the economy a boost with stimulus spending that included tax cuts and the expansion of unemployment and Social Security benefits. He also increased the minimum wage to $1.15 per hour.

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State Archives of North Carolina // Wikimedia Commons

1962

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.54 ($4.65 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.21 ($1.81 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.70 ($6.03 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.08 ($9.31 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.63 ($5.43 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.52 ($4.48 in today’s dollars)

President Kennedy continued to lobby for personal and corporate tax cuts that would invigorate the economy, making economic growth his top priority. The cuts were finally approved by Congress in 1964, three months after the president was assassinated.

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State Archives of North Carolina // Wikimedia Commons

1963

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.55 ($4.68 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.22 ($1.87 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.68 ($5.78 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.06 ($9.02 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.65 ($5.53 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.52 ($4.42 in today’s dollars)

The average income of families once again hit record highs, increasing 5% to $6,200. Minimum wage also increased by 10 cents to $1.25 per hour. And while the economy was booming, the world turned upside down when President Kennedy was assassinated in November, leaving Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson to take over.

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Leif Ørnelund // Wikimedia Commons

1964

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.54 ($4.53 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.21 ($1.76 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.67 ($5.63 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.04 ($8.73 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.76 ($6.38 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.53 ($4.45 in today’s dollars)

Congress approved tax cuts proposed by President Kennedy before his assasination, putting more money back into the pockets of American consumers. The economic benefits of the cut would be felt in years to come, with the Dow Jones industrial average nearly doubling between 1962 and 1966, the federal budget deficit shrinking, and GDP increasing.

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Dorothea Lange // Wikimedia Commons

1965

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.53 ($4.38 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.21 ($1.74 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.81 ($6.69 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.08 ($8.92 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.94 ($7.77 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.53 ($4.38 in today’s dollars)

In 1965, the nation’s automobile industry reached its peak, with companies like Chevrolet, Ford, and Pontiac producing more than 11 million new cars, trucks, and buses. The industry was a major employer, making up one out of every six American jobs. And families were continuing to see more money coming in, with the average median family income at $6,900. Consumers were also benefiting from tax cuts implemented the previous year, with the federal budget deficit continuing to shrink and the GDP growing to 6.5%.

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Orange County Archives // Flickr

1966

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.60 ($4.82 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.22 ($1.77 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.95 ($7.63 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.11 ($8.92 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.75 ($6.03 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.56 ($4.50 in today’s dollars)

At the beginning of 1966, America was heading into its sixth year of economic expansion, with a 4% unemployment rate and capacity utilization at close to 90%. While the future looked bright, the Vietnam War and President Johnson’s Great Society programs—aimed at addressing poverty through measures like welfare, housing and community development—soon saw federal spending and debt increase significantly.

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Motorau // Wikimedia Commons

1967

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.49 ($3.82 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.22 ($1.71 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.84 ($6.55 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.10 ($8.57 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.75 ($5.84 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.57 ($4.44 in today’s dollars)

The workforce grew by 1.6 million people in 1967, with more than 66% of these additional workers being women. With more women in the workplace came a demand for a recognition of rights, with the National Organization of Women calling for an executive order to ban discrimination in federal employment. Minimum wage also increased this year to $1.40 per hour.

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Phillip Pessar // Flickr

1968

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.53 ($3.96 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.22 ($1.65 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.81 ($6.06 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.14 ($8.53 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.76 ($5.68 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.61 ($4.56 in today’s dollars)

Military spending in Vietnam reached a peak, accounting for 9.5% of GDP. To fund the war, President Johnson signed the Revenue and Expenditure Control Act, putting in place a $10 billion tax increase and a $6 billion spending reduction. Individuals saw their income taxes increase by 10%.

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Orange County Archives // Flickr

1969

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.62 ($4.40 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.23 ($1.63 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.88 ($6.24 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.27 ($9.01 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.82 ($5.82 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.63 ($4.47 in today’s dollars)

The year began with 77.2 million Americans employed and unemployment at 3.3%, the lowest it had been since 1963. But the consumer price index (CPI) was rising quicker than it had the rest of the decade, going from 35.6 in January 1969 to 37.7 in December 1969. Inflation also increased and the country entered a mild recession in December.

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Seattle Municipal Archives // Flickr

1970

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.61 ($4.09 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.24 ($1.61 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.95 ($6.37 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.30 ($8.72 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.90 ($6.04 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.66 ($4.43 in today’s dollars)

Starting the year in a mild recession, the country experienced an increase in unemployment. The stock market was depressed and interest rates rose. In an attempt to restart economic growth and encourage consumer spending, the Federal Reserve eased monetary policies.

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State Library and Archives of Florida // Wikimedia Commons

1971

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.53 ($3.41 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.25 ($1.61 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.80 ($5.14 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.36 ($8.74 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.68 ($4.37 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.66 ($4.24 in today’s dollars)

In an effort to combat rising inflation and create jobs, President Richard Nixon signed an executive order in August, authorizing temporary wage and price controls. He also implemented a 10% import surcharge to protect American businesses from a predicted shift in exchange rates and help stabilize the dollar. Nixon also proposed repealing excise taxes on cars, a move that not only resulted in making cars more affordable, but resulted in more jobs in the auto industry.

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St. Gil, Marc // Wikimedia Commons

1972

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.52 ($3.24 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.25 ($1.56 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $0.96 ($5.98 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.48 ($9.22 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $0.93 ($5.79 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.68 ($4.23 in today’s dollars)

The U.S. economy in 1972 enjoyed prosperity marked by comparatively stable prices and unemployment falling to 5.1% by the end of the year. Price and wage controls enacted by the government had been successful and inflation had gone down to 3.27%. After the economic uncertainty of 1971, consumers were more confident in the economy, an attitude that was reflected in their growing spending as well as a record expansion of consumer credit.

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David Falconer // Wikimedia Commons

1973

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.78 ($4.57 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.28 ($1.64 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.33 ($7.80 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.75 ($10.26 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $1.37 ($8.03 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh delivered milk (1/2 gallon): $0.69 ($4.04 in today’s dollars)

In 1973, average inflation nearly doubled to 6.16. The price of the dollar in the foreign exchange market also fell, and the dollar was devalued 10 cents. Gas prices also began to skyrocket, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cut off oil exports to America in retaliation for the country providing military aid to Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The price of oil per barrel doubled, then quadrupled, causing severe gas shortages as well as an increase in food prices. The country was in a recession by the end of the year.

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Public Domain // Wikimedia Commons

1974

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.78 ($4.12 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.35 ($1.85 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.32 ($6.97 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.80 ($9.50 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $1.66 ($8.76 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $0.78 ($4.12 in today’s dollars)*

*In 1974, the BLS transitioned to tracking the price of grocery milk, instead of delivered.

A stock market crash from the previous year, as well as an ongoing recession and high inflation, meant low economic decline for the country. GDP decreased by 3.4% and unemployment was 5.6%. While the average median income of families rose 6%, an 11% rise in prices meant they had less purchasing power than in years past.

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Public Domain // Wikimedia Commons

1975

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.77 ($3.73 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.36 ($1.74 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.76 ($8.51 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.89 ($9.14 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $1.34 ($6.48 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $0.79 ($3.82 in today’s dollars)

The economy continued to struggle in 1975, with unemployment averaging 8.5%. Adding to the employment crisis was the rise in people who had exhausted their unemployment benefits—up more than 2.3 million from the previous year. While the average family income went up to $13,720, the continued increase in prices—9% from the year before—meant families had less to spend. However, they saw some relief in the form of a tax cut, proposed by President Gerald Ford and approved by Congress in March. Minimum wage was also increased to $2.10

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Hazel Nicholson // Flickr

1976

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.84 ($3.84 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.35 ($1.60 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.71 ($7.82 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.78 ($8.14 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $1.46 ($6.68 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $0.83 ($3.80 in today’s dollars)

No longer in a recession and boosted by tax cuts, inflation decreased significantly, coming down to 5.75%. The economy grew at a rate of 3.8% and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%. And though prices increased 6% from the year before, the median family income also increased 9%, giving workers about $450 more in purchasing power. An increase in the minimum wage—up to $2.30 per hour from $2.10—also gave American workers a boost.

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Haque, Abul // Wikimedia Commons

1977

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.82 ($3.52 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.36 ($1.55 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.56 ($6.70 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.76 ($7.56 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $1.50 ($6.44 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $0.84 ($3.61 in today’s dollars)

During 1977, consumer spending grew unusually fast, with people spending only a marginal amount of their income. The newly inaugurated President Jimmy Carter made job creation a main priority and Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Appropriations Act. The legislation would go on to create 9.3 million jobs.

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Public Domain Pictures

1978

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.79 ($3.15 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.36 ($1.44 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.79 ($7.15 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $1.99 ($7.94 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (10 pounds): $1.40 ($5.59 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $0.86 ($3.43 in today’s dollars)

The American economy was slowly getting back on track, though consumers and businesses remained cautious as the prior recession lingered in their minds. Inflation was also still high, at 7.6%. High interest rates and a decrease in buying power meant less spending, with people putting off buying big-ticket items such as cars and housing.

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Phillip Pessar // Flickr

1979

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the CPI in 1978 and was not able to release average retail food prices from July 1978 through December 1979.

The overthrow of the Shah of Iran led to the reduction of shipments of crude oil to the United States, resulting in high gas prices. Consumer confidence dropped even further as the threat of a gasoline shortage loomed and long lines at gas stations appeared. Inflation went up to 11.2% and interest rates soared to 20%.

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Carol M. Highsmith // Wikimedia Commons

1980

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.84 ($2.65 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.51 ($1.61 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.46 ($4.61 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $2.77 ($8.75 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.19 ($0.60 in today’s dollars)*
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.05 ($3.32 in today’s dollars)

*In 1980, the BLS transitioned to tracking the price of one pound of potatoes instead of 10 pounds.

The Iranian Revolution of 1979 paired with restrictive monetary policies aimed at lowering inflation plunged the country into another six-month recession, starting in January. Frustrated with the government’s handling of the economy, Americans voted for Ronald Reagen in the November elections.

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Denver Post // Getty Images

1981

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.90 ($2.58 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.53 ($1.52 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.67 ($4.78 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $2.86 ($8.19 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.25 ($0.72 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.12 ($3.21 in today’s dollars)

The economy was a central tenant for the newly elected President Reagen, who implemented a series of tax cuts in the hopes of encouraging consumers to spend more, thereby stimulating business growth and hiring. The tax cuts would go on to have long-term benefits. However, it didn’t stave off a more immediate recession caused by a regime change in Iran, which forced oil prices higher and the government trying to control rampant inflation.

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Wendy // Flickr

1982

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.87 ($2.35 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.53 ($1.43 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $2.05 ($5.53 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $2.95 ($7.96 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.21 ($0.57 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.12 ($3.02 in today’s dollars)

The Federal Reserve began loosening up on monetary policies enacted to curb inflation, and by October the inflation rate had fallen to 5%. Real interest rates and oil prices also decreased, giving way to a strong post-recession recovery, aided largely by the tax cuts from the previous year.

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Canva

1983

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.89 ($2.33 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.54 ($1.41 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.94 ($5.07 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $2.90 ($7.58 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.21 ($0.55 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.13 ($2.95 in today’s dollars)

The economy had recovered from the recession and Americans entered into a new era of economic growth. The annual inflation rate would remain under 5% over the course of the next five years.

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Dennis Harper // Flickr

1984

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.00 ($2.51 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.54 ($1.35 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.86 ($4.66 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $2.91 ($7.29 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.24 ($0.60 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.13 ($2.83 in today’s dollars)

The economy continued to improve, with the value of the dollar soaring. The effects of the 1981 tax cuts continued to be felt, with strong consumer and business spending. Housing, transportation and food were among the top items consumers were buying.

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TheeErin // Flickr

1985

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.80 ($1.94 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.55 ($1.33 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.94 ($4.69 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $2.82 ($6.82 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.21 ($0.51 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.13 ($2.73 in today’s dollars)

Employment continued to grow, with 2 million adults—1.4 million of which were women—joining the workforce. Income also ticked upward, with the median family income increasing to $23,260. With the economy strengthening, Congress looked to address the record-high deficit without increasing taxes and passed the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act—a five-year plan to reduce the deficit—in December.

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Kim Ahlström // Shutterstock

1986

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.87 ($2.07 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.56 ($1.33 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $2.08 ($4.94 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $2.77 ($6.58 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.25 ($0.59 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.11 ($2.64 in today’s dollars)

Economic growth was sluggish, coming in at just 2.5% because of a soaring trade deficit. On the bright side, oil and gas prices fell, leading to an increase in disposable income and a growth in consumer spending. Inflation and interest rates also fell.

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White House Photographic Office

1987

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.78 ($1.79 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.55 ($1.26 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $2.14 ($4.90 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $2.89 ($6.62 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.28 ($0.64 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.14 ($2.61 in today’s dollars)

Stock markets were strong the first half of the year, but by mid-October, a barrage of negative news reports had led to decreased investor confidence and unpredictability. Adding to the instability was the revelation by the federal government of a widening trade deficit, leading to the dollar falling in value. That kicked off a week of market losses, all culminating in Black Monday, a monumental collapse that left the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 509 points in a single trading session.

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Steve Morgan // Wikimedia Commons

1988

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.79 ($1.74 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.61 ($1.34 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.88 ($4.14 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $2.99 ($6.58 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.26 ($0.57 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.16 ($2.55 in today’s dollars)

The unemployment rate was 5.3%—the lowest it had been since 1974—and consumers were also spending more, with real final sales growing 4% throughout the year. Inflation also hovered around 4% throughout the year.

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Bill Branson // Wikimedia Commons

1989

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.00 ($2.10 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.67 ($1.41 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.77 ($3.72 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.12 ($6.55 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.34 ($0.71 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.27 ($2.67 in today’s dollars)

With the implementation of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, trade increased between the two countries at a rapid clip. The countries traded skis, whiskey, fur and computers, among other goods. The nation’s median household income also climbed to $30,056.

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Retaildesigner // Wikimedia Commons

1990

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.01 ($2.01 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.69 ($1.37 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $2.12 ($4.22 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.32 ($6.61 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.37 ($0.74 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.42 ($2.83 in today’s dollars)

The new decade saw a slow economy give way to a mild recession, caused by rising interest rates meant to keep inflation under control and global oil prices more than doubling after the Iraq invasion of Kuwait. The recession lasted eight months, with unemployment reaching 7%. During this year, President George H.W. Bush also raised taxes, a move that would haunt him in the next election.

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Retaildesigner // Wikimedia Commons

1991

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.99 ($1.89 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.71 ($1.36 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $2.22 ($4.24 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.41 ($6.52 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.33 ($0.63 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.37 ($2.62 in today’s dollars)

The recession which had begun in 1990 continued through March of 1991. The unemployment rate was 6.8% and consumer spending decreased in two separate quarters. The economy took centerstage as presidential candidates George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot vied for the electorate’s votes.

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St. Gil, Marc // Wikimedia Commons

1992

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.86 ($1.60 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.75 ($1.39 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.92 ($3.56 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.38 ($6.27 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.30 ($0.56 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.39 ($2.58 in today’s dollars)

With 10 million Americans unemployed, a record $290 billion deficit and sluggish job creation, voters were looking for a president who could revive the economy. They found that in Bill Clinton, who won the election with Vice President Al Gore.

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Pxhere

1993

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.91 ($1.64 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.75 ($1.35 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.93 ($3.48 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.40 ($6.12 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.35 ($0.63 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.39 ($2.50 in today’s dollars)

In an attempt to tackle the federal deficit, Congress passed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which increased taxes and aimed to reduce spending by $225 billion over five years. It also raised taxes on gas, Social Security, and corporate income, as well as extended limits on discretionary spending.

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Public Domain // WIkimedia Commons

1994

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.86 ($1.51 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.76 ($1.33 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.99 ($3.49 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.25 ($5.71 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.37 ($0.65 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.44 ($2.53 in today’s dollars)

The economy flourished in 1994, supported by strong investment spending and a decrease in unemployment. With the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, exports grew. Consumer confidence was also strong and federal discretionary spending as part of the GDP hit a 30-year low.

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ullstein bild // Getty Images

1995

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.92 ($1.57 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.79 ($1.35 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $1.99 ($3.40 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.21 ($5.48 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.38 ($0.65 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.43 ($2.44 in today’s dollars)

The economy continued to grow at a modest pace. In April, House Republicans also passed a bill that cut taxes over the course of five years, as well as provided tax credits for families and reduced the capital gains tax. The year also saw the launch of the dot-com bubble, with investors eagerly putting money into newly launched internet-based startups.

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sergey kolesnikov // Shutterstock

1996

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.11 ($1.84 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.88 ($1.46 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $2.47 ($4.10 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.12 ($5.18 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.38 ($0.63 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.56 ($2.59 in today’s dollars)

The economy continued to grow, with annual GDP growing 2.5% and inflation at 3.93%. The minimum wage was raised 50 cents to $4.75. A family of four with two earners and two children brought in $53,615 after taxes, adjusted for inflation, and spent more than $12,000 on housing, $6,000 on food, and $1,444 on entertainment. In November, President Bill Clinton was elected to a second term, and the stock market grew at a rapid clip following the election.

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Pixabay

1997

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.06 ($1.72 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.87 ($1.41 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $2.68 ($4.35 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.10 ($5.03 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.36 ($0.58 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1/2 gallon): $1.58 ($2.56 in today’s dollars)

All indicators continued to show a healthy, growing economy, with unemployment at 4.9% and inflation at around 3%. Consumer confidence was also at a high, with 80% of people not worried about losing their jobs and incomes rising among families in every wage bracket. In a poll, Americans also said they and their families were enjoying good times, with the majority of them working less and spending more time at home. They were also heading to the stores, with strong retail sales reported throughout the year.

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Wonderlane // Flickr

1998

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.04 ($1.66 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.86 ($1.37 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $2.54 ($4.06 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.09 ($4.93 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.38 ($0.61 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $2.70 ($4.31 in today’s dollars)

Consumer confidence and spending continued to trend upward, as did debt levels meant to support spending activities. The household median income rose 3.5%, coming to $38,885. It was notably the first year that the real median household income had exceeded its 1989 pre-recessionary peak.

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Orrling // Wikimedia Commons

1999

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.96 ($1.50 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.89 ($1.39 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $2.55 ($3.98 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.13 ($4.89 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.39 ($0.61 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $2.84 ($4.44 in today’s dollars)

Strong economic growth, stable prices for goods and services, and record-low unemployment at 4.2% made the U.S. economy look like an “Energizer Bunny on steroids,” according to CNN Money. The economy grew at a rate of over 5%. This was in large part due to rising technology, which was not only making consumers’ lives easier but making business more efficient.

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Virginia Retail // Flickr

2000

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.91 ($1.38 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.93 ($1.41 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $3.03 ($4.58 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.24 ($4.90 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.38 ($0.57 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $2.78 ($4.20 in today’s dollars)

The unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, notably the lowest level in a generation. The year started off with strong consumer spending, with car sales historically high. Having made it into the new century unscatched after the Y2K scare, customers also bought computers and software in large numbers, in addition to spending more money on energy after a considerably warm 1999. However, this year was also marked by the burst of the dot-com bubble, when Nasdaq lost more than 75% of its value and a slew of internet companies went bankrupt.

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Jean Beaufort // Public Domain Pictures

2001

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $0.93 ($1.37 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.00 ($1.47 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $3.25 ($4.78 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.50 ($5.14 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.39 ($0.57 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $2.88 ($4.23 in today’s dollars)

Millions of Americans received a stimulus check in the summer, ranging from $300 to $600, with the federal government hoping the money would be spent to stimulate an economy undergoing a mild recession brought on by the dot-com bubble burst. But the attacks of 9/11 further exacerbated the effects of the recession, closing the stock markets for several days. Making matters worse were accounting scandals at firms such as Enron and Swissair, which prompted another stock market crash. Personal bankruptcy rates also reached record highs by 2001, in part due to the rising cost of college.

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Pixabay

2002

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.03 ($1.49 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.02 ($1.48 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $3.24 ($4.69 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.50 ($5.06 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.49 ($0.71 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $2.76 ($3.99 in today’s dollars)

The economy did better than expected, with inflation below 1.5% and unemployment averaging at around 5.8%. However, unemployment crept up to 5.8%. Those who were employed were also spending more money on health insurance. Wages and salaries went up only slightly, with the minimum wage remaining at $5.15 per hour.

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Pixabay

2003

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.24 ($1.75 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.00 ($1.41 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $3.20 ($4.53 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $3.84 ($5.43 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.46 ($0.65 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $2.76 ($3.90 in today’s dollars)

With more money in hand thanks to the President George W. Bush’s tax cut package, consumers began spending, helping to recharge the economy. While the economy was growing stronger, the year was marked by a “jobless recovery,” which included a 6% unemployment rate. Despite gains in spending and output, the job market remained weak, with sluggish job creation and hiring.

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Anthony92931 // Wikimedia Commons

2004

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.34 ($1.85 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $0.97 ($1.34 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $3.38 ($4.66 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $4.13 ($5.69 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.45 ($0.62 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.16 ($4.35 in today’s dollars)

Increased investment led to strong personal income growth with tax cuts also giving Americans more spending money. Disposable income soared in 2004, trending $40 billion higher than in 2003.

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Drumguy8800 // Wikimedia Commons

2005

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.22 ($1.63 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.04 ($1.39 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $3.39 ($4.52 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $4.10 ($5.46 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.47 ($0.63 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.19 ($4.25 in today’s dollars)

The real median household income was $60,684. And while Americans were making more than before, they were also borrowing more, carrying large debts for cars and education. By 2005, the average American home possessed 19.3 bank cards that they used for banking, borrowing and shopping.

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Matt MacGillivray // Flickr

2006

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.31 ($1.69 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.08 ($1.39 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $3.44 ($4.44 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $4.00 ($5.16 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.53 ($0.68 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.08 ($3.98 in today’s dollars)

The economy experienced a marked slowdown, with economic growth and job growth both decreasing and the housing boom coming to an end. Retail sales also weakened, as consumers were confronted with rising payments on record debt accumulated over the past several years. In the second quarter of the year, families were paying more than 14% of their disposable income toward their debt and mortgage delinquencies, and bankruptcy cases also rose.

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Alex "Skud" Bayley // Flickr

2007

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.68 ($2.11 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.21 ($1.52 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $3.66 ($4.59 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $4.11 ($5.16 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.52 ($0.65 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.50 ($4.39 in today’s dollars)

The subprime mortgage crisis had a domino effect on the economy. When the U.S. foreclosure rate jumped 79%, the housing market crashed, causing home prices to decrease dramatically. That led to a banking crisis as borrowers defaulted on their loans, subsequently causing the huge financial institutions to collapse and take the stock market with them. The country entered a recession in December.

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Pixabay

2008

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.99 ($2.41 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.37 ($1.66 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $3.66 ($4.42 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $4.24 ($5.13 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.63 ($0.76 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.80 ($4.59 in today’s dollars)

In the midst of a recession, 2008 saw unemployment at 5.8% and American families taking in $61,932, less than they did in 2007. To accommodate for the smaller paycheck, consumers began switching to lower-priced brands—a trend that continued past the recession as consumers found themselves pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed the less expensive products.

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Pixabay

2009

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.66 ($2.01 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.39 ($1.69 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $3.61 ($4.38 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $4.14 ($5.02 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.62 ($0.75 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.11 ($3.77 in today’s dollars)

The recession ended in June, thanks in part to a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry and insurance and automobile companies as well as the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a nearly $800 billion government stimulus package. However, the year was still marked by high unemployment, ending at about 10%.

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Atomic Taco // Flickr

2010

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.66 ($1.98 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.37 ($1.64 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $4.11 ($4.91 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $4.28 ($5.11 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.58 ($0.69 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.26 ($3.89 in today’s dollars)

Recession recovery continued, with the rate of layoffs decreasing. However, unemployment was still high at around 9% and with work hard to find, many were forced to make major lifestyle changes, such as selling their homes, moving in with family or going back to school to pursue alternative careers.

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Pxhere

2011

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.77 ($2.05 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.44 ($1.67 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $4.63 ($5.36 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $4.61 ($5.33 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.68 ($0.79 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.57 ($4.13 in today’s dollars)

With high unemployment continuing to be a major hurdle for the country, President Barack Obama signed the The American Jobs Act. The legislation cut payroll taxes in half, providing businesses tax credits for hiring veterans and long-term unemployed workers, and made it easier for entrepreneurs and small businesses to get funding. Consumer spending made up 70.5% of the total GDP.

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Universal Images Group // Getty Images

2012

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.84 ($2.09 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.42 ($1.61 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $4.56 ($5.17 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $4.79 ($5.43 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.66 ($0.75 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.49 ($3.96 in today’s dollars)

In 2012, consumer spending slowly expanded, with unemployment hovering at around 8%. The amount of money consumers spent on both durable and nondurable goods reached its highest levels since 2007.

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Ukko-wc // Wikimedia Commons

2013

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.91 ($2.13 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.41 ($1.58 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $5.29 ($5.91 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $4.88 ($5.45 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.67 ($0.75 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.46 ($3.87 in today’s dollars)

Income spending decreased this year and so did consumer spending. The hardest hit industries were entertainment, personal care and services, and apparel, though consumers did increase their spending slightly for transportation and health care.

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Pixabay

2014

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $2.02 ($2.22 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.40 ($1.54 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $5.78 ($6.35 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $5.68 ($6.24 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.67 ($0.74 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.69 ($4.06 in today’s dollars)

In 2014, the typical American household spent $36,800, however the amount of money they were bringing in stayed relatively the same. The median household income was $53,657, not statistically different from that of 2013. However, unemployment decreased to 7.4%.

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Mike Mozart // Flickr

2015

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $2.47 ($2.71 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.44 ($1.58 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $5.45 ($5.98 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $6.15 ($6.75 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.65 ($0.71 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.42 ($3.76 in today’s dollars)

After several years of slow growth, the economy grew 2.9% in 2015. Consumer spending grew and unemployment went down to 5.3%. Americans were also more financially secure, with only 28% of respondents to a McKinsey U.S. Consumer Sentiment Survey saying they lived paycheck to paycheck, down from 40% the year prior.

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Ines Hegedus-Garcia // Flickr

2016

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.68 ($1.82 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.37 ($1.49 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $5.42 ($5.88 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $5.90 ($6.40 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.68 ($0.74 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.20 ($3.47 in today’s dollars)

Economic uncertainty among businesses and CEOs grew as the tumultuous presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tightened. However, consumer confidence remained strong, with Americans spending 2.4% more than they did in 2015, doling out a significant amount of more money on health care, and personal insurance and pensions. Expenditures on other areas, such as food, entertainment and education, also rose slightly. Unemployment continued to trend downward, declining from 2.3 million in 2015 to 2 million in 2016.

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Pxhere

2017

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.47 ($1.56 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.33 ($1.41 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $5.77 ($6.13 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $5.79 ($6.15 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.72 ($0.76 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.23 ($3.43 in today’s dollars)

With the election over, Americans experienced a strong economy, with consumer confidence at its highest since 2000. Unemployment was also at the lowest it had been in 17 years. The GOP also approved sweeping tax reform, decreasing the corporate tax rate to 21% and eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provisions.

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Extarz // Shutterstock

2018

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.74 ($1.80 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.29 ($1.34 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $5.47 ($5.67 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $5.71 ($5.92 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.74 ($0.77 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $2.90 ($3.01 in today’s dollars)

The economy grew 2.9%, as consumers increased their spending 1.9%. Among the biggest areas of spending increase were alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and smoking supplies, which could be in part due to the number of electronic products that were introduced in the marketplace. Consumers also spent more money on personal insurance and pensions.

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Kristi Blokhin // Shutterstock

2019

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.40 ($1.43 in today’s dollars)
- White bread (1 pound): $1.30 ($1.32 in today’s dollars)
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $5.61 ($5.71 in today’s dollars)
- Round steak (1 pound): $5.83 ($5.94 in today’s dollars)
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.77 ($0.78 in today’s dollars)
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.04 ($3.09 in today’s dollars)

The median household income was $68,703, a notable increase of 6.8% from the previous year. That increase helped account for higher insurance rates, due to an increase in natural disasters, distracted driving accidents and costlier vehicle repairs. However, Americans did save money on food, with more individuals opting to eat at home due to the high cost of dining out and a desire to eat healthier, as well as the availability of entertainment courtesy of streaming services.

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Kevin McGovern // Shutterstock

2020

- Fresh eggs (1 dozen): $1.53
- White bread (1 pound): $1.43
- Sliced bacon (1 pound): $5.52
- Round steak (1 pound): $6.58
- Potatoes (1 pound): $0.83
- Fresh grocery milk (1 gallon): $3.28

Heading into 2020, the economy was flourishing. Economists were predicting a year of growth and no recession as the value of the dollar rose. But the coronavirus pandemic completely upended the economy, with small business revenue down 20% as of September and unemployment reaching a high of nearly 15% in April. After a difficult start to the year, consumer spending began increasing again in May with Americans continuing to spend on cars, clothing, and recreation through September.

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