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Cost of Living Documented in Old San Pedro Diary

The page below is a photograph of an actual page from a diary in which the Gomez family kept notes of incomes and expenses during the 1940’s.  This particular page shows the cost of living and prices of common groceries.

30 pounds flour $2.40                          (Now $33.00)
10 pounds sugar  $0.90                       (Now $12.00)
4 pounds rice $0.44                              (Now $5.60)
4 pounds beans $0.72                          (Now $11.00)
2 pounds margarine $.50                     (Now $7.50)
6 cans condensed milk $0.96               (Now $22.50)
1 can baking soda $0.27                       (Now $4.10)
1 can custard $0.45                               (Now $7.35)
2 packs tea $0.38                                  (Now $8.20)
2 bottles kerosene gas $0.16               (Now $5.90)
1 toilet paper $0.19                               (Now $1.25)
2 bars sunlight soap $0.55                   (Now $7.50)
3 boxes matches $.06                           (Now $0.75)
Total $7.98                                              Total $126.65

Cost of Living Documented in Old San Pedro Diary

A Page Of History And Sweat In The Life Of Gilberto Gomez Sr. In The 1940’s

The same diary indicates that the average earning per week was about $7.00. Therefore this bill represents a one-week earning but the commodities could easily last about three weeks for a family of four or five. Pretty interesting to note that almost the entirety of a family’s shopping list was on food, with exception of kerosene and soap.  Beans as you can note was pretty expensive and so was toilet paper, an import product, so I imagine it was purchased only for some members of the family. On any given week the shopping list could include pigtail, salt beef, lard, ten quarts of corn. Corned beef was a luxury and only purchased on a special occasion.

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