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Grocery Shopping Yesteryear: An Eclectic Look Back Down the Aisles

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grocery shopping (4)

I love looking at old pictures of grocery stores.  Getting a glimpse of the old packaging is always interesting, and it’s a treat just noting how much times have changed.  So, here is an assorted mix of images of grocery shoppers from “the olden days” of the 1960s through the early 1980s. Enjoy.


andy warhol

Andy Warhol picking up some Brillo pads, Coca-Cola and… of course, Campbell’s soup cans.

supermarket 1962

Happy Holidays circa 1962

grocery shopping vintage

(L) Exploring the wonders of the supermarket in 1975 – and possibly the widest aisle in supermarket history. (R) Black leather go-go boots with animal skin minidress; the perfect outfit for grocery shopping.

024_good manners in public (1983)

From a 1983 book titled Good Manners in Public.  Remember “Dinky Donuts” cereal?

1963 butcher

Mid-sixties Kansas City, at the butcher.  Take note of the traditional straw hat.

Sparks band 1980From a 1980 advertisement for a Sparks album.

ralphs sunland ca 1964

Ralph’s supermarket in southern California – a woman admires the shag bathroom rug while an employee pretends not to notice.

grocery shopping (3)

(L) Loading up the basket with booze and cigarette cartons – life in the seventies. (R) Another Pleasant Valley Sunday in 1965 Dallas.


A found photo from 1988.  They are really glad they found the toilet paper.  Must’ve been an emergency.

dominicks evanston il

Dominick’s in 1960s Illinois. Here’s a Dominicks commercial from 1973…

According to the description, it was found in someone’s basement, lost to the traces of time.  Thankfully someone had the good sense to restore it and share.

National Lampoon Dec 1975 (5c)

“Domestic tranquility – Happy family of inner-center dwellers relax in Kroger’s split-level.  Outside, stormclouds of war gather.”  From a 1975 issue of National Lampoon.

a&p 1960

At the A&P in 1960

piggly wiggly
The sight of a family getting help with loading the car with groceries does my heart good.  It’s the rare supermarket these days that will provide this kind of service.  For more on grocery store changes, check out Supermarket Makeover: 9 Ways Your Old Grocery Store Has Changed

grocery shopping (2)

I have no explanation or backstory to provide.  Just let your imagination run wild.

jewel gb cheese shop brickyard 1977

Grocery shopping at Jewel Grand Bazaar in 1977

hughes mkt westdale ca

Picking up some Christmas decor at the grocery store in the 1960s – wearing gloves and pearls.


March 14-20 1974 issue of Titbits featuring a “Grapefruity Girl”

ralphs granada hills 1965

Ralph’s in Granada Hills, CA circa 1965.

general foods 1964

This picture from 1964 provides a brilliant look into the retr0-shopping cart: Tang, Gaines-burgers, Minute Rice, Angel Flake coconut, Alpha-Bits… and, of course, Sanka.

  • Steve Mills

    Dinky Donuts!!! Damn, I loved those. I forgot about Team too. Never ate that, cuz it was healthy. Yuck.

    Ugh, that Chicago accent in the Dominick’s ad. It’s like they want to sound like they’re from Wisconsin, but then there’s that strange Jersey flavor they throw in which just ruins it.

  • BOB®

    I always get my shag toilet rug at the grocery store…some things never change.

  • Freakanatcha

    I had forgotten what it was like to be able to swiftly move down a supermarket aisle without someone waddling in the middle talking on their phone and blocking traffic.

  • Freakanatcha

    One thing has changed. You actually knew the store manager and they would order something for you if you asked.

    • Princessofmirth

      And you could find them. They actually were competent back then.

  • Dink Newcomb

    Now wait! Do you mean that Andy Warhol was not a genetically defective, desperate for attention 10 alarm pathetic albino misfit? I have to admit, I do not know much about him beyond that picture because at mention of his name and antics my nausea reflex kicked in and I quickly thumbed the page forward but the presumed mark of some creators wrath seemed like such a tidy explanation for such a worthless life.

    • SVGirl

      Funny story- I was actually invited to one of Warhol’s famous parties in spring of ’86. I declined because I would have missed my senior finals in high school. Figured I’d go to the next one, then he died. Gosh, I wish I had a do over!

      • Dink Newcomb

        I was beyond celebrity interest by the mid 80s but even being repelled by Warhol I have to admit that in the early 70s I would have enjoyed attending one of his parties (freak shows) to see if there were limits to human behavior. I haven’t thought about him in decades but this conversation has me wondering what sort of feelings the **STARS** of those soirees now experience when thinking of the overt decadence they so loudly declared about themselves in those days. I am sure some are still “proud” of it and some see it all as wanton “what was I thinking” moments.

  • Princessofmirth

    Hey! I always grocery shop in an animal print minidress and go go boots.
    Great article. Thanks for making my first day of 44 a good one!

    • Dink Newcomb

      HEY! I ALWAYS used to go shopping in the same attire but it was in conflict with my cowboy handlebar mustache but once I trimmed it to a Hitler womb broom, I find I can even wear psychedelic prints and mukluks to complement my precious tiara and delightful fairy wand which used to languish in the closet.

  • FrancisChalk

    Look how respectably everyone dressed back then. My, my, how we have fallen as a society.

    • Dave McDougall

      lol yes because clearly we measure our level of civilisation by whether or not people are wearing suit and tie or pearls. I seem to recall that the Nazis were pretty snappy dressers….

      • Dusty Thompson

        It is the culture War the left has been fighting with America over for the last 80 years. That you think she was talking about “ties and pearls” and base your argument on that assumption speaks volumes about your lack of critical thinking skills. Leftwit regressive indoctrination has not been kind to you.

        Anti Fascist- Fascist get what she deserves. He also fully supports feminist equality, lol.

        Instead of wearing Jack Boots and carrying MG42’s modern American Nazis have Ponytails, wear tie-dyed t shirts, don masks and put bicycle locks into socks and hit their political foes over the head with it.

      • FrancisChalk

        Actually, the often unkept dress of many nowadays, and the slutty dress of many women/girls in particular, is a very good measure of the type of society we have become.

        Oh, by the way, Hitler was a dog lover, so I should hate dogs according to you I guess? I mean, whatever the Nazis did, we must do the opposite, right?

  • Steve Skubinna

    Yuban, Maxwell House (both ground and instant) and Sanka in the same cart. That’s some product placement gone berserk.

    • bobinfwb

      Yeah, serious jones for java in that house!

    • There’s nothing like that 23rd cup of coffee in the morning. Pass me a couple cartons of Chesterfields.

  • JohnnieWalkerFan

    No UPC scanners.

  • Michael Lang

    My pooch ate Gaines-burgers.

  • Lew Colby

    Plummer’s Supermarket in Standish/Hollis, Maine still has a butcher behind the counter. No straw hat though.

  • Unmutual One

    ’60s MILF in the frozen section.

  • J.P.

    Alpha-Bits cereal !!! My mother taught me to read at two years old using Alpha-Bits. Thanks, Ma! Thanks, Post cereal!

    • Dusty Thompson

      That you *think* you can recall your thoughts and that you were reading at 2 years old is an absurd notion filled with virtue signalling and wishful thinking. I think you need to stick with participation trophy polishing instead of trying to pat yourself on the back at any opportunity…. Perhaps you could have gotten away by saying “4 yr old reading”, unnoticed. 2, lol… Mothers that spoil their children also have a tendency to exaggerate a lot of other things..

  • I miss Mr Salty pretzels! There is a similar brand whose name I have forgotten but whose box is distinct, that looks and tastes just like them. I haven’t seen them around in a while, though.

    Fortunately, Publix still helps you load groceries into your car but it’s really random. Sometimes it happens when you don’t need it, other times it’s a real godsend. Publix definitely has the best service, which I suppose makes it the most old-fashioned of stores. A huge success all over Florida.

  • Joann Johnson

    The toilet paper girls…someone got their house TP’ed that night, with 100% certainty.

  • sadatoni

    Brings back great memories. Good times…

  • Ken Harkins

    Has the Jewel Tea truck ever stopped at your house? Their potato chips in a big tin can were the greatest.

  • Dusty Thompson

    What we should be asking is why prices have soared so extremely over the last 50 years. “Inflation” is this Govts hidden Tax people don’t like to talk about. If you think it is bad that a can of soup has went from .9 cents to $2.00 just wait till 0bama’s real legacy of Quantitative Easing makes that $2 can of soup $100.

    Our Govt hates us all, why do we put up with them??

    • Col. Harrumph

      You can thank Nixon, who took us off the gold standard; or you can thank Congress, for refusing to pay up front for JFK’s & LBJ’s Viet Nam adventurism, or you can thank the latter two for making the former impossible. Or you can thank us voters, for rewarding all the above.

  • hebeti

    Re the kids wildly waving the toilet paper, obviously, it’s the day before a big game and they’re about to go TP relevant houses, draping paper over trees and shrubbery.

  • SkeptiGal

    At the Publix supermarkets in Florida, employees will roll your cart out and put the bags in your car if you wish. When I first encountered this, I was shocked. As a native New Yorker, I am not used to this. No grocery store in NY that I know of does this service.

  • notreyf .

    No one is fat. What happened?