Looking back at the 1970s, it often seems that times were simpler then.
No one was tethered to a cell phone or computer and kids still went outside to play after school.
Prices, of course, were a lot lower in the 1970s as well, thanks to a lower cost of living.
Of course, everything is relative, as they say. Individuals made a lot less at their jobs so, therefore, things cost less.
Nevertheless, it’s fun to look back at days gone by and marvel at the cost of things like homes, cars, and common household items as well as college tuitions and other major expenses.
Peruse the figures below for a sampling of typical 1970s prices.
All are approximates / averages and many varied by brand, etc.
Average 1970s home price – approximately $27,000 (prices went up through the 1970s)
Annual tuition/room and board at a state university - $400- $1200 per year
First Class stamp – 6 cents
Food / Toiletries
Large eggs – 59 cents per dozen
Milk – 62 cents per gallon
Potatoes – 99 cents for 10 lbs.
Butter - $1.33 per pound
Bacon – 80 cents per pound
Sirloin Steak - $1.19 per pound
Loaf of bread – 25 cents
Ketchup – 19 cents
Sugar – 39 cents for 5 lbs.
Tomato Soup – 10 cents per can
Coffee - $1.90 per pound
Toothpaste – 75 cents
Pork Chops – 59 cents per pound
Pot Roast – 59 cents per pound
Frozen TV dinners – 39 cents
Bar Soap – 20 cents per bar
Onions – 9 cents per pound
Oranges – 7 cents per pound
Gas – 36 cents per gallon (before the 1973 oil crisis)
Car - $3900 (1970); $5500 (1979)
Whitewall Tires - $13
Motor Oil – 25 cents per quart
8-track tape player - $40
CB Radio - $140
1970s Clothing Prices
Men’s down jacket - $20
Men’s suit - $40
Men’s sport coat - $30
Men’s dress shoes - $22
Wrangler jeans - $10
Women’s summer dress - $8
Women’s slippers - $4
Ladies spring coat - $25
1970s Furniture / Household prices
Bunk beds - $100
Recliner chair - $70
Bean Bag chair - $20
Porcelain sink - $10
Mattress and box spring - $75
Latex house paint - $7 per gallon
Toys prices in the 1970s
Atari game cartridges - $20
Mattel Hot Wheels Car – 69 cents
Radio-Controlled car - $5
Barbie inflatable furniture set - $2