During the 1970s and 1980s, most issues of Taste were lined with page after lucrative page of supermarket advertising.

Promoting low prices was a big business, and reader interest in those low prices was a big reason why Taste drew such an immediate following. Scanning the ads from National and Red Owl to Piggly Wiggly and Country Club Markets and others is not only an eye-opening exercise in the cost of groceries but also of the number of store options for shoppers.

For a sense of the change in grocery costs, consider this: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median American household income in 1969 was $8,389. In 2017 — it’s the latest year that the Census Bureau has similar data — it was $61,372. That represents a 631% increase.

Compare these 1969 Target prices with their contemporary counterparts, gleaned at a St. Paul Target store in mid-August.

  • Pillsbury cake mixes

    $ .69 in 1969
    $1.29 in 2019
    87% increase
  • Eggs

    $ .38/dozen
    $ .75/dozen
    100%
  • Half-and-half, pint

    $ .29
    $1.49
    413%
  • Lean ground beef

    $ .55/lb.
    $3.09/lb.
    461%
  • Oscar Mayer bologna

    $ .69 for 12 oz.
    $5.79 for 16 oz.
    500%
  • Iceberg lettuce

    $.19
    $1.49
    684%
  • Celery

    $ .19
    $1.99
    947%
  • Crisco shortening

    $.78/3 lbs.
    $2.99/1 lb.
    1,050%
  • Miracle Whip salad dressing

    $.38 for 32 oz.
    $3.69 30 oz.
    1,100%
  • Campbell’s soup, single can

    $ .10
    $1.59
    1,490%
  • Wheaties cereal

    $ .19 for 12 oz.
    $3.99 for 15.06 oz.
    1,666%
  • Cool Whip

    $ .39 for a quart
    $3.59 for a pint
    1,741%