Hunting and gathering, circa 1957

YouTube claims this was made in 1962, but according to the fine print in the film itself, it was made in 1957. Either way, if you’re a baby boomer who went grocery shopping with Mom back when you were a young whippersnapper, this will bring back memories. If you watch all the way to the end you’ll see how much an average mother paid for a shopping cart full of groceries in 1957 (warning: not for the faint of heart).

19 Responses to Hunting and gathering, circa 1957

  1. Cop Car says:

    I was just thinking, this morning, that I’ve gotten much stronger: In 1955, in college, it was hard for me to juggle my $4.00 worth of groceries from the store to my apartment. I had to walk the diagonal of our small campus. Today, I easily carried the $74.00 worth of our groceries to the car. Of course, I now carry groceries in bags that have large-loop handles rather than in Kraft paper bags that, at least once, broke if they got damp from sweating cold foods.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. V.M.Sang says:

    In the UK in 1957 we were still queuing at individual counters for different things in the grocery shops. You queued for, say, bread at one counter and were served by a real person. Then you went to the dairy counter and queued again for butter, cheese etc. and so it went on.
    Some stores you could queue once and get most things. The person serving would get your items for you.
    As to the price of things, that’s amazing for people nowadays, but you have to remember that people were earning much less, too. In 1965 when I started teaching I was earning £630 a YEAR! Now that wouldn’t keep you for a month. Shortly after getting married we decided to stock up on groceries. We had a hard time to spend £5.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I knew I was getting old the first time I picked something up in the store and scoffed, “A dollar fifty for that? When I was a kid you could buy one of those for a quarter!” And I’m the one who used to roll my eyes whenever my old man started reminiscing about how much a nickel could buy back in his day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ibikenyc says:

        OMG! Me, too!

        A DOLLAR for a pack of gum?!

        I go around all the time telling myself “You sound like those old guys who think everything should cost a nickel!” LOL! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, hard to believe! Now I need to see a MST3K version of this. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Relax... says:

    I only got to the “must saw the bone” butcher part 😛 but so far, it doesn’t seem terribly different than today’s supermarkets. And now I’m almost keening because none of our cars will ever again have that blessed little vent-window!

    Liked by 7 people

  5. I remember that my mom (in the early 70’s) paid around 50 cents for gas and she bitched about it the entire time. Like it was the gas pump attendant’s fault the gas prices went up. Then went the “fuel crisis” hit… well, it just got worse.

    Not long ago, I was thinking I got a good deal if I could get groceries for $10 a bag. Now I pay $50 for two bags, and they’re not even full bags.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. […] Hunting and gathering, circa 1957 — bluebird of bitterness […]

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I liked this so much, I had to reblog it. I remember those days. We really did dress like that, too, even just to go grocery shopping.

    The butcher with his big knives and saws freaked me out a little. Made me think that going vegan wouldn’t be a bad idea…

    Liked by 4 people

  8. egorr says:

    Mom and Dad would take us to the BX (or PX) on base, in 1962 she came back with food for a month with only $11.00 and some change.

    If you don’t buy pre-packaged food you can save a ton of money even nowadays…

    Liked by 5 people

    • Back when my husband was working himself half to death trying to support six people on one income, I learned all kinds of ways to cut corners on the grocery budget. I could have written a book about it. 🙂


  9. 1957. I was about little Betty’s age.

    That low total includes that family-size roast!

    And oh, those cars!

    The narration is funny — simplistic and overdetailed (“she puts it in the basket”) — like it was a training film for recently-arrived extraterrestrials in how to act human. I especially liked “She’s paying for Betty’s things, too.”

    Liked by 3 people

  10. janiejunebug says:

    I went to the grocery store today for six items, used self-checkout, and spent $75. I wore jeans and a t-shirt. My mother always changed her clothes before going to the grocery store, even if she was just stopping in for a gallon of milk.


    Liked by 2 people

  11. I was surprised that there was already a lot of plastic in use, although thinking back I suppose I shouldn’t have been. The Plastic Age began with WWII, I suppose.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. ibikenyc says:

    I KNEW the “small” cans of tuna used to be eight ounces! >:-(

    And was that dog food in a jar?

    And, yeah, five dollars and change including a veal roast?! Can you even buy a veal roast at a supermarket anymore?

    Also, the basket on the bottom of the cart, right above the wheels.

    Liked by 1 person

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