I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).
Discovered last week in an old box of saved newspaper clippings, recipe cards and food related magazines as well as a handwritten old journal of recipes mostly in my grandmother's handwriting was an entire page torn out of the CORPUS CHRISTI TIMES newspaper dated Thursday, February 21, 1957 and it had to do with grocery store prices on the one side.
Obviously the recipes on the other side of this food section containing the grocery store ads would have been the "why" and "how" of it ending up in that box. None of the recipes looked that appealing to me but the prices of the food grabbed my attention. My how things have changed!
Written on the back of this old postcard is the following:
"ROYAL PALMS MOTEL - 2800 North 10th St., McAllen, Texas.
On Texas Highway 336, 1 1/2 miles north of U.S. 83, Thirty-nine units, air conditioned, vented panel ray heat, kitchenettes, telephone in every room and television lounge. 20 minutes to Old Mexico and close to downtown center. Swimming Pool. Recommended by Duncan Hines.
Photographed and Published by Don R. Bartels, 510 N. 7th St., McAllen, Texas."
Collection of Recipes
Many of these collected newspaper clippings and recipes originated with my maternal grandmother and then additions were made by my mother and even some of the recipes that I had given to my mother were in that same box. There is no doubt as to which person gathered this particular newspaper clipping.
Our family had not yet moved to Texas from Wisconsin until the year 1960. My grandparents for many years however had vacationed in Texas. Annually reserved for them in McAllen at the Royal Palms Motel was cabin number 39 where they met other friends from scattered states all across America who also chose that same winter vacation spot.
When leaving McAllen they had passed through Corpus Christi while starting their homeward bound journey in 1957 and picked up a newspaper from that city which is located on the Gulf of Mexico.
Another vintage postcard where my grandmother had made notes was copyrighted so cannot be shown here.
That postcard was where they had spent the night at the Koronado Hotel Kourts in Corpus Christi and had the time to take "a drive down Ocean Drive which was most interesting. Many beautiful homes facing the ocean front which is beautifully landscaped with green lawns and palm trees galore."
That night they "watched Groucho and Dragnet" on television and planned to leave the next morning for Galveston, Texas.
Thus this record of grocery store prices from that time exists and I thought that it would be fun to share it with readers who might like to see how things have changed in the last 50+ years.
Look at These Prices!
The full page advertisement in the old yellowed newspaper was for the grocery store PAT LIMERICK & SONS ~ Limerick Foods. They had three locations in Corpus Christi and advertised "OUR 6 POINTS STORE OPEN TILL NOON SUNDAYS."
At the top of their ad it read: "THE MOSTEST OF THE BESTEST FOR THE LEASTEST." The last bit was torn off so I am assuming the last three letters of Least had the "est" on it.
Given the "Hi Chillun!" at the top of their ad, I am assuming that this was a very folksy run business.
Ready for the prices? This is what was posted in this February 21, 1957 page of the Corpus Christi Times newspaper.
LOOK WHAT A NICKEL WILL BUY
GREEN ONIONS / BUNCH
CABBAGE, FIRM / POUND
TURNIPS & TOPS / BUNCH
COLLARD GREENS / BUNCH
RUTABAGAS / POUND
YELLOW ONIONS / POUND
LETTUCE, CRISP HEAD
(All of the above were listed at 5 cents!)
More Produce Prices
BANANAS ~ CENTRAL AMERICAN ~ THE BETTER KIND ~ GOLDEN RIPE / 10 cents per pound
APPLES ~ SWEET JUICY ~ ROMAN BEAUTY / 15 cents per pound
ORANGES ~ TREE RIPE NEW VALENCIAS / 5 pound bags at 23 cents
CELERY ~ CALIFORNIA LARGE CRISP / each at 11 cents
EAST TEXAS YAMS ~ SERVE WITH ONE OF OUR JUICY POT ROASTS / 10 cents a pound
SPINACH / Package 19 cents
CARROTS / Cello package 5 cents
Fruit and vegetable lovers would love these kind of prices today!!!
Big Stock Up Sale was Advertised
Just wait until you see these prices!
Included in 12 cans for only $1 were the following which could be mixed and matched:
VIENNA SAUSAGE ~ CAMPFIRE
BLACKEYED PEAS ~ with bacon / 300 size
PORK & BEANS ~ tall cans in sauce
PEAS, Early Garden ~ 300 size
HOMINY - WHITE ~ No. 300 tall cans
10 Cans for $1 Would Have Purchased the Following:
BEETS NEW CUT ~ Kimbell's 303 cans
NEW GREEN BEANS ~ Diamond 303 cans
BUTTER BEANS - Old Time Flavor ~ Large 303 cans
GRAPEFRUIT JUICE ~ Texsun No. 2 large
POTATOES / Kimbell's Shoestring ~ 300 size tall can
8 Cans for Only $1 Would Have Gotten You Any of The Following:
TOMATOES NEW ~ New Valley 303 large cans
NEW POTATOES ~ 303 large cans just heat & eat
CORN GOLDEN ~ Mayfield 303 large cans
MILK BORDENS ~ TALL CANS
SPINACH - DEL MONTE ~ Large 303 cans
5 for $1 Would Have Gotten You the Following:
Mix as you wish large 12 ounce ALL IN REUSABLE TUMBLERS
PURE GRAPE JELLY
PURE RED PLUM JAM
Back in the days when I was a youngster most of the emptied jelly jars were then utilized as drinking glasses. My mother and grandmother made some of their own jams and jellies, so only the varieties that they did not make would have entered our homes and then have been reused for drinking fruit juice or milk.
Those were also the days when one received trading stamps for grocery store purchases. They were faithfully put into the books and when completely filled could be traded for many articles such as dishes, toasters, electric carving knives or even ceramic statues. This just gives one a slight idea of what could be attained by saving those trading stamps. There were many choices.
I remember helping my mother lick those S & H Green Stamps and faithfully fill the pages of those books. There were the S & H Green Stamp Stores where one could go and redeem the stamps for desired household items in person or one could also order from their catalogs.
Complete sets of dishes could also be collected in bygone days by purchasing a certain dollar amount in the grocery stores. Generally one dish at a time was acquired each week when shopping. Sometimes one would have to pay a little extra to get the serving dishes that matched the dinner and salad plates as well as cups and saucers.
Dish towels were often a "prize" at no added cost in powdered detergent boxes. Many people who grew up as I did in the 1950s will remember these things.
Meat Prices in 1957
CORNED BEEF with a FREE HEAD OF CABBAGE with each order was 49 cents / pound.
BEEF CHUCK ROAST was advertised at 29 cents / pound.
HAMBURGER ~ PURE MEAT NO CEREAL ADDED - THE GOOD KIND was 23 cents / pound.
FRESH WHOLE PICNIC HAM ROAST (weigh 4 to 6 pounds whole) was 29 cents / pound.
BACON ~ Tray packed "SMOKEY BRAND" was 37 cents / pound.
FRYERS ~ Big and juicy, 2 to 3 lbs. never frozen was 29 cents / pound.
STEAKS ~ CUT FOR YOU AND THE BEST EATING. THE FINEST, JUICIEST STEAKS, FOUND ANYWHERE ~ SEVEN CUT at 39 cents/ lb., SHOULDER ROUND at 43 cents/ lb., JUICY SIRLOIN at 59 cents/ lb. and RIB CHOPS were listed at 49 cents per pound.
DELICIOUS LOIN FRESH PORK ROASTS were 49 cents / pound.
PORK CHOPS ~ END CUTS at 49 cents and MID CUTS at 59 cents per pound.
LIVER ~ BABY BEEF - RICH IN VITAMINS was 23 cents / pound.
SAUSAGE ~ HOMEMADE COUNTRY STYLE, RICH AND TASTY WITH TANGY SPICES AND HICKORY SMOKE was 29 cents per pound.
Additional Advertised Specials
EGGS ~ CACKLE FRESH DOZEN for 39 cents.
SUGAR ~ PURE CANE 5 pounds for 49 cents.
SHORTENING ~ JEWELL or KIMBELL'S ~ 3 pound tins were 79 cents.
COFFEE ~ Limerick's "Coffeebreak" Pure Santos ~ We grind it for you fresh ~ 79 cents lb.
OLEO ~ Glen Eden ~ 2 pounds for 43 cents.
KNOLLE'S ICE CREAM ~ 1/2 GALLON was 69 cents.
Dixie Freeze MADE BY BELL ICE CREAM COMPANY ~ HALF GALLONS were 39 cents.
FLOUR ~ Pillsbury's Best XXXX Flour ~ BEST GRADE IN PAPER BAGS ~ $1.59.
PINTO BEANS ~ 4 pounds cost 45 cents.
TIDE ~ LARGE BOX ~ each cost 30 cents.
Rice ~ RiverBrand 12 ounce package was 11 cents.
Orange Juice ~ FRESH FROZEN TREESWEET BRAND - 6 oz., 2 cans for 25 cents.
SALT ~ KIMBELL'S ~ 3 packages for 25 cents.
PUFFIN BISCUITS ~ package was 10 cents.
VERMICELLI ~ 2 Q & Q for 13 cents. (This author has no idea what Q & Q meant.)
Ladies Nylons ~ Dupont's No. 1, $1.00 Value ~ 69 cents.
CHERRIES ~ KIMBELL'S RED PIE 303 CANS were 19 cents.
Tripping Down Memory Lane
Hopefully you enjoyed this journey looking back at grocery store prices from the Limerick Foods in Corpus Christi, Texas in this old newspaper page dated February 21, 1957.
I would surely like to be paying similar prices today! How about you? And what about these old TV commericals! Did you enjoy them as much as I did?
If you wish to see other food and toiletry prices from the 1950s? Click here.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Peggy Woods
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 30, 2017:
Hi Lucky Lambdin,
It made me smile thinking that we experienced some of the same things like licking S&H stamps and going to those redemption stores. Drinking from jelly jars was a common economic practice for many people growing up after WWII who were trying to stretch dollars. Those were the days! Ha!
Lucky Lambdin on November 29, 2017:
Thanks for the article, Peggy. I was born in Galveston, TX in March of 1957, so the prices down Corpus Christi-way were interesting for me to see, imagine they reflect Galveston's prices almost perfectly. Got a kick out of he "Hi Chillun" ad! I remember those green S&H trading stamps (& helping Ma lick the stamps & put them in the books - she got a few small appliances that way) & drinking from Welch's jelly jars - we had quite a collection & Pa still had several when he passed on in 1992.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 09, 2015:
Hi Au fait,
Those were good grocery store prices back then as well as gas prices. I guess everything is relative to what the earnings were at the time. Now many models of cars cost as much as an average home did when I was a child. Amazing to think of it in that way!
All is well here. Hope it is the same for you.
C E Clark from North Texas on October 06, 2015:
These prices are amazing aren't they? I remember gas prices at 23¢ a gallon back in 1970. I can remember being able to fill one of those large brown paper bags they used to put our groceries in for $10 or less, and it included 2 or more pounds of hamburger and roasts and all manner of things. My how times have changed.
Back in the 8th grade one of my classmates said that if things kept on as they were a hotdog would cost $5 instead of the 15¢ at the time. They're pretty close to that sometimes now and at games and special events I think they're more than $5.
This is a great article. Really enjoyed seeing these prices that at the time probably seemed as high as the ones we must deal with now seem today.
Sharing of course! Hope all is well at your house.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 15, 2013:
It really is fun to run across old newspapers and see what the news of the day was as well as prices of things. Long before I ever thought of writing articles on HubPages I gave away an entire scrapbook of newspaper clippings from different newspapers regarding the JFK assassination. Wish I had kept that now.
The stamps were fun to collect, fill the books and then redeem articles from the stores. Those were the good old days! Ha! Thanks for your comment, vote, share and pin.
Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 15, 2013:
I had so much fun reading this Hub! Oh yes, I remember well.....I loved the S&H Green Stamps, they were so much fun to collect.
I was unpacking some boxes I had stored in the attic and I had lots of fun reading the newspapers I had used to wrap articles. The papers were not as old as yours here, but it was fun reading through them.
Voted UP, shared and Pinned.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 17, 2013:
Yes, prices have certainly changed in not only food, but as you mentioned in things like gasoline and home prices as well. The price of a car now costs more than most homes back in the 1950s. You are also right in that we did not have all of these many recalls of food items as there seem to be today. Thanks for the votes up and the share...although you thought that I was the hub author Alastar. I like his writings also and am a fan. :)
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 16, 2013:
I don't believe that the Royal Palms Motel still exists. It was spread out on quite a bit of land and that probably became more valuable for building other structures than maintaining the older buildings. It certainly was nice for its day and time. Thanks for your comment.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 16, 2013:
Reading these grocery store prices from 1957 surely was a trip down memory lane. Somehow it doesn't seem all that long ago. Ha! Glad to know that you liked this hub. Thanks for your comment.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 16, 2013:
Ah yes...the days of the S & H trading stamps and others...guess we are broadcasting our ages to people. Ha! It was always fun redeeming the filled stamp books for items in the stores. Thanks for your comment, vote and the share. Gave me an excuse to update this hub. :)
Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on February 16, 2013:
Wow, Alistair! Does this hub take me back in time! I do remember the prices of the late '50s, not only in the grocery store, but at the gasoline pump (a dollar's worth of gas would take you a long way back then) and when buying clothing. That's not all--the first house I bought about 1964 (a new 3-bedroom, 2 bath brick home with a large den, sitting on two acres of land) was priced at only $9,000. Sure wish I'd kept it! Ha.
I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, although the nostalgia makes me view today's high prices (in many instances for unsafe food and inferior goods) with a jaundiced eye....
Voted Up+++ and shared
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on February 16, 2013:
Hi Peggy - I loved this! It is the history of our culture, how we ate, those horrible little Chef BoyRD meals and like to believe we ate so well back in the day.
Best of all, I loved the beautiful post card. I'd like to jump right into that picture. It would be so cool to look for that old motel. I wonder if it's still there.
Faythe Payne from USA on February 16, 2013:
A trip down memory lane...great article.
moonlake from America on February 16, 2013:
I still have a few items around the house that I got with green stamps. The pitcher with the kool-aid face on it I once had one that looked like that. Enjoyed reading your hub. Voted up and shared.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 11, 2012:
Isn't it amazing how grocery prices have changed since 1957! Running across this old newspaper was rather fun...sad in another way. I don't know how large families feed their kids today unless they have enough land to plant big gardens. Thanks for your comment.
Alastar Packer from North Carolina on June 10, 2012:
Another delightful and interesting gem from my friend Peggy. Came into the world bawling in the latter 50s so this really cool to see. Tried to figure out where the biggest discrepancy was between an item from then and today but gave up pretty quickly lol. Old man inflation is a hungry beast!
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 13, 2012:
Glad that you found this hub about grocery store prices back in the 1950's interesting. Thanks for your comment.
Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on April 13, 2012:
I have read about comparative price study now and then, and I always find this very interesting.
This hub is quite an interesting read.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 20, 2012:
I well remember helping my mother fill in those S & H trading stamp books and then going to their stores to redeem the books for items. It was fun! It felt as though you were getting those items for free...but of course it was simply a different way of offering discounts back in those days. Glad that you enjoyed this hub and thanks for your comment.
dappledesigns from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest on March 20, 2012:
great hub! I love seeing the old advertisements - and although I didn't remember until I read this, I do remember my grandmother and mother collecting those stamps. I remember that they were going for those glass pots and baking pans that were tinted... not sure the brand - but one of them went with me at my first apartment :)
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 25, 2012:
Glad that you liked this. Don't you wish we could have the same kind of pricing for groceries today as back in 1957? Nice dream! Thanks for your comment.
Eiddwen from Wales on February 25, 2012:
Every single one of your hubs that I have read are all up to that very high standard;they never disappoint and I enjoy plus learn so much.
Your amazing effort each and every time is greatly appreciated.
Take care Peggy and have a wonderful weekend.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 23, 2012:
I think that all of us would love to be able to pay prices for groceries such as existed back in the 1950's. Thanks for your comment.
klash5 on February 22, 2012:
Interesting hub, I wish the prices were still like back then.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 15, 2012:
Like you, I also liked the values taught in the 1950's. Those were good days.
Things were certainly not packaged like they are today which undoubtedly adds to the prices. That...and we did not have the wide variety of things shipped from all across the globe and available in grocery stores back then. Some of this is good, and some bad. Obviously eating from one's garden or patronizing more locally grown foods are not only good for the environment, but also in most cases cost friendly. Thanks for your comment.
LadyLyell from George, South Africa on February 15, 2012:
Oh for the good old days!
I love to go down memory lane as those 1050's were innocent days, people had such high values.
Just look at those prices? My grandmother always had a vegetable garden and fruit trees and used the produce to cook for her large family.
I have kept an old recipe book handed down from my mother-in-law just for the laugh. The photos within are "classics" with the cook photographed in a frilly apron and let me not talk about the hairdo's!