Was 3 cents ever a lot of money?

Helping my grandpa move a bunch of junk out of his attic (and into his garage where it will probably spend another 20 years:rolleyes: ) he had a box with a bunch of old newspapers. They were mostly from the 60’s. Looking through them I noticed grocery store ads with coupons…“Save 3 cents on frozen beans”…" etc. There was one coupon that saved you a whopping 7 cents on a jar of herring.

Hey, I know the economy is different but, hey? Was 3 cents ever really worth anything? My mom cuts coupons to save a buck. But 3 cents? I can’t see wasting time to cut that out.

I was in Grade 6 in primary (elementary school) - a packet of chewing gum was worth 3 cents then. A packet of cigarettes was worth between 34 and 38 cents. This was in the days when our dolllar was worth more than the US$ (IIRC, about $1.15).

The year was 1971.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the United States, $0.03 in 1960 had the same buying power as $0.18 does today. Not really worth the effort to clip the coupon, IMO, but hey, a penny saved, and all that jazz.

As for whether $0.03 was ever worth anything, in 1913, $0.03 would have had the same buying power as $0.54 does today. So it was still basically pocket change, but decent pocket change all the same.

Back in the 30s (before television and video games) you could send your kid to the afternoon matinee for five cents (A NICKLE!). They got an A feature, a B feature (second tier stars and production), coming attractions (like trailers now), a newsreel, a cartoon (like Bugs Bunny), and a serial like Flash Gordon where they leaving you haning every week. Plus your folks got you out of their hair for a whole afternoon. Quite a deal. Even my excessively cheap grandfather paid a nickle to get my well behaved (if you believe her) mother out of the house.

I remember the 60s well (and spent the summer of love in San Francisco at the ripe age of 5), and candy bars were ten cents. I will still stoop down to pick up a penny, but it is really force of habit rather than intrinsic value. Oh, and gasoline was routinely less than 30 cents a gallon.