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New Research: in 1862 People Spent 13 Times as Much on Groceries as We Do Now

by Kathy Jones on January 9, 2012 at 9:15 PM
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 New Research: in 1862 People Spent 13 Times as Much on Groceries as We Do Now

If you come to know the expenditure of families in 1862, you will stop complaining of the ever-rising inflation.

A new research has revealed that shoppers paid 13 times as much for their groceries 150 years ago than we do now, the Daily Mail reported.


In 1862, a weekly basket of food, drink and household items would have cost 1,254.17 pounds in real terms.

This compares with 93.95 pounds today, according to analysis published by The Grocer magazine.

It took 33 items, such as a dozen eggs, hot chocolate, a toothbrush and a litre of sherry, and applied an average earnings measure of inflation to their 1862 prices.

The biggest changes were seen in fruit. Pineapple, for example, which cost 1.72 pounds this week, sold for 5s in 1862, estimated to cost 149 pounds in real terms.

"The reason food is so much cheaper in real terms today is that wages have gone up ten-fold over the past 150 years, while technological changes have made food from around the world readily available," said Elinor Zuke, a senior reporter at the magazine.

"In 1862 the average shopper would have spent about a third of their earnings on groceries, whereas now it is around 7 per cent or 12 per cent if you include eating out.

"Butter and lamb from New Zealand are a good example of how bringing food from different places has made it more available and hence cheaper," he stated.

The report, which uses an original 'Grocer 33' list of products and their prices from 1862, was carried out to celebrate The Grocer's 150th anniversary.

Source: ANI
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