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25 examples of the cost of living in the 20th century show us the harsh reality of today's economy

These old menus and ads show how affordable and reasonable prices of food, groceries and housing were back in those days.

25 examples of the cost of living in the 20th century show us the harsh reality of today's economy
Cover Image Source: (L) X | @historyinmemes, (R) Imgur

The world has been on a roller coaster ride for the past few years, with the cost of living skyrocketing and some major cities becoming too expensive to live in due to inflation. The cost of even basic amenities like food, rent and household essentials are getting insanely high. The income with which our parents or grandparents used to lead a luxurious life has now become the bare minimum requirement for this generation. With the COVID-19 pandemic adding to the already distressing reality, this generation of youth is facing a challenging time making ends meet.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mikhail Nilov
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mikhail Nilov

This recent economic stature has led people to compare the cost of living during the 1900s. Many on social media are sharing pictures of old restaurant menus, real estate ads, travel ads and grocery costs from the 20th century. We have compiled such noteworthy pictures from the internet, along with a few gathered by Bored Panda and they are a reflection of how the cost of living in the US used to be. Eating out cost people just a few cents and buying properties was almost a cakewalk if one had a decent job. Here are 25 best examples that depict how affordable life used to be in the 1900s and how hard it is now.

1. Drive-in's menu 1950s

Image Source: Reddit | u/AxlCobainVedder
Image Source: Reddit | u/AxlCobainVedder

2. How would you like an $18 rent?

Image Source: themindcircle
Image Source: Reddit | u/Paul-Belgium

3. Vintage homes

Image Source: Reddit | u/jabnes
Image Source: Reddit | u/jabnes

4. Cost of living 1938

Image Source: X | @historyinmemes
Image Source: X | @historyinmemes

5. 1973 McDonald's

Image Source: Reddit | u/heeroo0
Image Source: Reddit | u/heeroo0

6. 1960's men's fashion

Image Source: Reddit | u/dogbytes
Image Source: Reddit | u/dogbytes

7. 1959 cost of living 

Image Source: X | @VisionaryVoid
Image Source: X | @VisionaryVoid

8. Medical bill 1947

Image Source: Reddit | u/Old97sFan
Image Source: Reddit | u/Old97sFan

9. Whopper for 39 cents

Image Source: Reddit | Reddit user
Image Source: Reddit | Reddit user

10. 1955 housing ad

Image Source: X | @HighOnHistory
Image Source: X | @HighOnHistory

11. 1960s Woolworth menu

Image Source: X | @VisionaryVoid
Image Source: X | @VisionaryVoid

12. Playskool toys in the 1970s

Image Source: Reddit | u/Uniquely-Qualified
Image Source: Reddit | u/Uniquely-Qualified

13. Tacos at just a few cents

Image Source: Reddit | u/AxlCobainVedder
Image Source: Reddit | u/AxlCobainVedder

14. Most liberal Ford dealer in 1965

Image Source: Reddit | u/Quick_Presentation11
Image Source: Reddit | u/Quick_Presentation11

15. Steve Aloi-Ford rides

Image Source: Imgur
Image Source: Reddit | u/Quick_Presentation11

16. Hospital bill for 10 days in 1947

Image Source: Reddit | u/Scurrah
Image Source: Reddit | u/Scurrah

17. KFC - good old times

Image Source: Reddit | u/yeneewsc
Image Source: Reddit | u/yeneewsc

18. 1960s cocktail menu

Image Source: Reddit | u/5_Frog_Margin
Image Source: Reddit | u/5_Frog_Margin

19. Vintage grocery prices

Image Source: Reddit | u/leejtam
Image Source: Reddit | u/leejtam

20. 1960s color television

Image Source: Reddit | u/Present_Debt7233
Image Source: Reddit | u/Present_Debt7233

21. 1950s restaurant menu

Image Source: Reddit | u/CincoDeMayoFan
Image Source: Reddit | u/CincoDeMayoFan

22. Coffee shop menu from 1949

Image Source: Reddit | u/susierabbit
Image Source: Reddit | u/susierabbit

23. Just a $2.95 maternity bill in 1957

Image Source: Reddit | u/squidnezy
Image Source: Reddit | u/squidnezy

24. 1959 McDonald's menu

Image Source: X | @VisionaryVoid
Image Source: X | @VisionaryVoid

25. 1989 cost of living

Image Source: X | @VisionaryVoid
Image Source: X | @VisionaryVoid

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