The Christmas Cost

I’ve teamed up with Admiral insurance for their cost of Christmas campaign. The idea behind the campaign is to see how the cost of the festive season has changed over the last 40 years.

Admiral have created a very clever widget which people can interact with. Simply select which year you’d like to find more about (2006, 1996, 1986 and 1976), and then  you can compare this against your spend at Christmas to find out what items have gone up and if prices have dropped on certain items. You can find the widget online at

Admiral have also included some extra data showing what expensive items people add to their house insurance after Christmas. Usual items included are TVs etc, but surprisingly to me engagement rings and art were also added.

After looking at the widget, Admiral have challenged me to do a virtual shop of the high street using the prices of 1986 for a selection of items to find out how prices have changed, and whether they’ve gone up or down. I found this a really interesting challenge!

So here we go! Here is my virtual shop, all in my virtual shopping basket.

Turkey. 1986 Price: £15.42. 2017 Price: £15.00 Iceland

Pigs In blankets. 1986 Price: £4.30. 2017 Price: £2.00 Tesco

Sprouts. 1986 Price: £ 0.83. 2017 Price: £0.65 Asda

Broccoli. 1986 Price: £0.63. 2017 Price: £0.50 Asda

Potatoes. 1986 Price: £0.41. 2017 Price: £0.46 Asda

Carrots. 1986 Price: £0.40. 2017 Price: £0.60 Asda

Frozen Peas. 1986 Price: £0.84. 2017 Price: £0.76 Asda

Cabbage. 1986 Price: £0.43. 2017 Price: £0.69. Asda

Stuffing. 1986 Price: £0.67. 2017 Price: £0.59. Asda

Mince pies. 1986 Price: £0.81. 2017 Price: £0.79 Aldi

Christmas pudding. 1986 Price: £2.67. 2017 Price: £2.00 Asda

Cheese board. 1986 Price: £2.72. 2017 Price: £2.50 Asda

Bag of Sweets. 1986 Price: £0.60. 2017 Price: £0.70 Asda

Advent Calendar. 1986 Price: £2.44. 2017 Price: £0.50 Morrison’s

Pack of Fizzy Drink. 1986 Price: £1.34. 2017 Price: £1.50 Morrison’s

Bottle of White Wine. 1986 Price: £2.96. 2017 Price: £4.25 Morrison’s

Bottle of Red Wine. 1986 Price: £2.61. 2017 Price: £3.18 Asda

Champagne(bottle). 1986 Price: £11.95. 2017 Price: £15.00 Asda

Cream Liqueur(bottle). 1986 Price: £6.07. 2017 Price: £7.75 Asda

Brandy (bottle). 1986 Price: £7.32. 2017 Price: £11.00 Asda

Women’s dress. 1986 Price: £291.02. 2017 Price: £52.00 lispy

Men’s Tie. 1986 Price: £59.44. 2017 Price: £12.00 Next

Girls pyjamas. 1986 Price: £33.04. 2017 Price: £17.00 Next

Boys pyjamas. 1986 Price: £32.75. 2017 Price: £18.00 Next

Watch. 1986 Price: £144.01. 2017 Price: £124.99 H Samuel

Child’s Bike. 1986 Price: £153.31. 2017 Price: £73.34 Tesco

Wapping paper. 1986 Price: £1.30. 2017 Price: £1.00 Asda

Greeting Cards. 1986 Price: £2.16. 2017 Price: £1.00 Asda

Christmas Crackers. 1986 Price: £6.36. 2017 Price: £5.00 Asda

Artificial Xmas Tree. 1986 Price: £67.61. 2017 Price: £34.99 Argos

Cinema Trip. 1986 Price: £11.87. 2017 Price: £20.00 Odeon

Panto Family Tickets. 1986 Price: £59.27. 2017 Price: £79.00 Theatre

Image new theatre

Washing-up liquid. 1986 Price: £1.06. 2017 Price: £1.00 Asda

Bin Liners. 1986 Price: £1.80. 2017 Price: £1.07 Asda

Tin Foil. 1986 Price: £1.95. 2017 Price: £1.50 Asda

Total from 1986: £932.40. Total from 2017: £512.31. Saving £420.09

Incredibly I made a saving of £420.09. Not that I intended too, but some items are definitely cheaper all these years later.

That’s it. My virtual shop of the high street using a budget from 1986. My findings are that while some foods stayed the same price, or in fact were on a number of occasions cheaper. There didn’t seem a lot of difference in price from 1986 as far as food was concerned.

Alcohol has quite dramatically gone up in price, and I found it difficult to keep the budget for alcohol in line with the prices of 1986.

Clothes have dramatically reduced in price. This of course could be down to the fact that more and more clothes are made abroad, therefore there are lower labour costs which have reduced the price to the consumer.

Finally I found this a very interesting and fascinating study in how prices have changed over the last 40 years. It has certainly surprised me.

Why not give it a go? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Disclosure This is a commissioned post produced in collaboration with Admiral.

20 thoughts on “The Christmas Cost

  1. I can’t believe inflation only affected the alcohol!! Good point about the clothes though – and it’s reassuring that food has remained more or less the same.

  2. Some of those prices are really interesting. The disparity between a dress then and now is mad!! Although I won’t show my wife or she’ll start using the price change to buy 4 dresses and say it only cost ‘like 1 from the 80’s’ 😂

  3. Really interesting as I would automatically presume a lot of items would have been cheaper in 1986. I was also born that year! 🙂 I will definitely be trying this out as I love a good stat!


  4. Wow this is fascinating! I thought prices would have gone up dramatically with inflation and cost of living etc. We really should be thankful that we’re paying roughly the same price (or cheaper) and actually earning more in this year. #ThatFridayLinky

  5. Wow. That’s a lot cheaper. I guess my brain starts thinking at what cost and what corners have been cut? Who were the labourers? How are the animals being managed? It’s great that things are more affordable though. #ThatFridayLinky

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.