A Few Dimes Will Do Ya!

1930s Shopping

How much did food and daily items cost when Frank was young?

We find it so fun and interesting to ask people how much things cost when they were young, it always seems so much cheaper than today. So, we asked Frank if he remembered what his Aunts had to pay for the household staples. He remembered a few of the items and we looked a few items up. What seems so different today, is that it is rare for anything to only costs, cents. Now many people don’t even carry cash, let alone change.

Here are a few examples of what a family might spend their pennies on in 1933.

  • A dozen eggs cost 35 cents.
  • A pound of meat cost about 25 cents.
  • A dozen oranges cost about 25 cents.
  • A pound of cheese cost 24 cents.
  • A pound of cabbage or a pound of onions cost four cents.
  • A can of pork and beans cost 6.5 cents.
  • Toothpaste cost about 27 cents.
  • A medium quality dress cost about $17.00.
  • A man’s work shirt cost 90 cents.
  • The retail price for a radio was between 13 and 130 dollars and that’s about what you could pay for a plow, too.
  • Most hourly wages were in the 23 to 78 cents per hour range, with “Mountain” states paying very well at an average of 50 cents.
  • A salaried employee was making over $1,500 per year.

For Frank, he earned a nickel for shining shoes, mowing lawns and pedaling his bicycle to make deliveries for Vorhee’s Shoe Store. Frank also started doing odd jobs at Alexander Aircraft. Frank was determined to earn enough to get some of those $9.50 airplane lessons. He did just that!

PHOTO CREDIT: mylearning.org