The iconic 1990 movie “Home Alone” gave us the unforgettable image of eight-year-old Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin, fending for himself while his family was away. One of his memorable activities was a grocery shopping trip where he bought a sizeable haul of food and household items for just under $20. However, recent calculations show that the same shopping list would cost a staggering 250 percent more today.
According to Fox News, the list of items that young Kevin bought – including a half gallon of milk, a half gallon of orange juice, a TV dinner, bread, frozen mac and cheese, laundry detergent, cling wrap, toilet paper, a pack of army men, and dryer sheets – cost him $19.83 back in 1990. Today, however, the same items would cost a whopping $72.28.
This significant increase in grocery prices is a stark demonstration of the rising cost of living for American households. Rochelle Chalmers, a mother-of-two and small business owner from West Virginia, shared her experience on “FOX & Friends First,” stating, “the inflation that we have felt in the grocery store has been just the same as every other American. And it is tough trying to pay for groceries week to week.”
The surge in prices is not limited to groceries. According to the October consumer price index (CPI), the cost of everyday goods, including gasoline, groceries, and rent, has climbed 3.2% from the same time last year. This inflationary trend presents challenges for both consumers and business owners. Chalmers noted that her business had seen a 28% increase in the cost of cake mix, a key ingredient for her company.
These rising costs and inflation worries are reflected in public sentiment. A recent Fox News poll found that three-quarters of voters believe the economy is in poor shape, and two-thirds don’t see any signs of improvement. Only 29% optimistically believe that the worst is over for the economy.
As we look back on the nostalgic scenes from “Home Alone,” the stark difference in grocery prices between then and now offers a sobering reflection of the economic challenges many Americans face today. While Kevin McCallister’s $20 grocery run was a playful subplot in a holiday movie, it has now become a symbol of the significant changes in our cost of living.