How Much Did a Hamburger Cost in 1970?

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The cost of a hamburger in 1970 varies as to whether it was being made at home in a private kitchen or purchased from a fast-food restaurant. A homemade burger could be had for just under 33 cents. No data exists for fast food in 1970, but in 1972, the cost of a quarter pounder was 55 cents.

A pound of ground beef cost 98 cents in 1970. A hamburger typically contains five to six ounces of meat per person, so that would be about three hamburgers at just under 33 cents each, if made at home. Adjusted for inflation, that would be about $2 in 2014.

The 55-cent quarter pounder, when adjusted for inflation, would be the equivalent to $3.48 in 2014. In 1974, a regular McDonald’s hamburger cost 30 cents or about $1.84 when adjusted for inflation, up from 18 cents, or the 2014 equivalent to $1.23, in 1968. Despite the fact that hamburger prices were well under a dollar in 1970, when the prices are adjusted for inflation, the price index has changed very little. McDonald’s pricing was actually investigated by the Federal Pricing Commission in 1972, and the restaurant chain was subsequently asked to lower its food prices.