Remember school lunches? 1974 tuckshop menu shows classic food we used to love

A tuck shop menu from 1974 has surprised Aussies with its cheap prices and range of options available. Source: W Pedersen/ National Archives of Australia

Baby Boomers took a trip down memory lane this week to the good ol’ days at school after a 1974 menu from a school tuckshop was shared online.

The long list of delicious treats on offer in 1974 certainly got people talking, mostly because of the seemingly cheap prices and range of snacks available.

The menu from Berala Public School in Sydney’s west, which was posted on Facebook group Old Shops Australia, was a far cry from what students nowadays enjoy with everything from devon sandwiches and Sao biscuits with vegemite to Aussie favourite lamingtons and finger buns.

A tuck shop menu from an Australian school in 1974 was shared online this week.
A tuck shop menu from an Australian school in 1974 was shared online this week. Source: Facebook/ Old Shops Australia

Most Australians would agree these options don’t even make an appearance on canteen menus anymore, with much healthier snacks such as fruit, sushi and stir-frys the more common items on offer. Not to mention the range of dairy-free and gluten-free alternatives.

Kevin Hayes, who was the original person to post the photo agreed it was certainly a change from what he remembered at school.

“Wow, most of those items would not be allowed to be sold or even consumed in school these days,” he wrote.

While this was a bit of a shock for some, it was the prices that sparked the most conversation, with a simple sandwich costing only 11 cents in the ’70s, while a large chocolate eclair would have set you back a mere 13 cents.

Read more: Pizza Hut menu from the ’70s reveals how cheap eating out used to be

Those weren’t even the cheapest items listed with an ice block costing only three cents, while a packet of chips was around six cents.

Boomers were quick to comment on the post as they reminisced on the days spending a few cents for a full meal at school.

“I remember getting a buttered finger bun for six cents and a pastie with sauce for 10 cents at school,” one person wrote.

“We used to be able to order hot tomato or chicken noodle soup in South Gippsland in the ’70s during winter for 20c I think plus 5c extra for two pieces of buttered bread to go with it,” another added.

While a third said: “I remember manning a special window at lunchtime just to sell chips. They were only 10c back in 1971”.

While the prices may seem extremely cheap, the Australian dollar has of course changed dramatically in value over time. Even with inflation though, the 10-cent orange juice listed on the menu would only cost you 80 cents today if you took inflation rates into account ($1 in 1974 is equivalent to $8.91 in Australia in 2019) and it’s fair to say you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere that sold a juice for under $1 these days.

Do you remember purchasing food from the school tuck shop?

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