How Much Did Things Cost in the 1980s?

We look back at prices on everyday items, from gas and stamps to milk and eggs, in 1985, the midpoint of the decade, and compare them to today's prices.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The year: 1985. Reaganomics was in full swing, runaway inflation was finally easing, and the Dow Jones industrial average rose a whopping 27.7% to 1,546.67. It was the halfway point of the Decade of Greed.

But did the go-go economy and sizzling stock market mean everything cost more in the 1980s? Not necessarily.


Median costs for consumer goods were provided by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), unless noted otherwise. Inflation-adjusted prices were calculated using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator.

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Andrea Browne Taylor
Contributing Editor

Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and was a channel editor for covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is Director of Member Services, at the National Association of Home Builders.