How Much Did Things Cost in 1954?
For the most part, things cost significantly less in 1954 than they do in the 21st century. Many common household items were less than $1. A loaf of bread cost about 17 cents, and 1 pound of cheese cost between 50 cents and 70 cents, depending on the type.
Purchasing a postage stamp only required 3 cents, and steak for one person cost about 95 cents. A movie ticket was approximately 70 cents, and 1 gallon of gas was only 22 cents.
Not everything was significantly less expensive in 1954 than contemporary times, however. A gallon of milk cost about 91 cents, which is only about $1.25 less than the average price of 1 gallon of milk in 2014. A new washing machine cost about $155 in 1954, which is only about $100 less than a basic top-loading model costs today.
A person could purchase a new house for less than $20,000 in 1954, and for less than $2,000, he could put a new car in the driveway. A new, fashionable dress could be purchased for around $15. It's also important to consider that the average annual salary during this era was less than $4,000. Adjusted for inflation, that would be the equivalent of about $35,000 per year in 2014.