The picture above shows a vintage Soviet poster which shows what a bottle of vodka could buy you at time. It was propaganda against the drinking problem, like – “Look! Instead of vodka you could buy all this!”. Also, this might be called a Soviet variation on the “Hamburger” index. So really, what could a bottle of vodka buy you back then (in the 1970’s) and now in Russia? See more inside:

So according to this Soviet pic, one bottle brings to table the following goodies:

1) 1 pound of beef

2) two kg or 4 lbs potatoes

3) 3 apples

4) bread – two kg (or about 4 lbs)

5) milk – two bottles

and also onions, pepper and salt in unspecified amounts.

This was back then. Now the guy has gone to a grocery store and bought the cheapest vodka and then used the same amount of money to buy some food. Here is what he got:

So this is his bottle of vodka, it cost him roughly $6.

For this amount he was able to get:

1) 0.75 kilo of bread

2) 1 carton of milk

3) two apples

4) the same two kilos of potatoes.

And that’s it. No meats, no onions or salt and pepper.

And here is his second choice:

The same vodka amount brought him:

1) one apple

2) 2 kg of bread

3) 3 kg of potatoes

Basically, a bottle of vodka, both now and then, can also get you enough food to survive for a couple of days. The conclusion is that this survival experience could be more pleasant in the 1970’s than now.

Also, please take note that the guy comes from Chukotka – a pretty remote part of Russia, with rather high food prices, however I suppose vodka costs a bit more there too.

What about your country? Can you trade in your vodka and survive?

In germany a cheaper bottle of Wodka costs about 6 Euro. We can get here fot it: 1 Kilogram of Bread (1,20 euro), Potatoes (5 Kilogram 1,20 Euro), Apples (500 Gramm 1 Euro), Onions (1 Kilogram about 0,5 Euros) and about a half kilogram of meat (the remaining 2,10 Euros).

Hmm, for 6 $ I can get A kilo of beef or One bread 1200 gr, 1 litre of 3.5% milk, 1 kilo of potatoes, 1 kilo of carrot, 1 kilo of sugar and 250g of coffee and 100 grams of salami.

Wow, nice and cheap that would be over $10 …£1.5 loaf of bread (or £2 500g beef), £1 Litre milk, £1.5 Potatoes 1 kg, 50p Carrots 1 Kg, 80p sugar 1kg, £2 coffee, £1 Salami.

I am from the Czech Rep, so this aren´t lowest prices there. That is regular prices. When we have discount, we can have 10 kgs of potatoes for 1. 75 $ (last week) Beef is very expensive there…. Hmm for 6 $ you can also buy 12 0.5 litre bottles of regular (not cheapest) 4.5% acohol beer.

or a ‘big mac’

In my country is Big mac menu with unlimited drinks also for 6 $.

In Finland the basic “votka” (Koskenkorva, 0.5l) costs 13,68€. With that you can get 2 kg of potatoes, 2 litres of milk, 200g of beef, 1150g of bread and 4 apples

In Israel a 0.7L of vodka costs 16 Euro. 1 Kg of beef costs between 10 and 30 euro, depending on the cut and if it’s fresh or frozen. 1 Kg of potatoes cost between 0.5 and 1 Euro. Apples go for 2 Euro/Kg. Milk is 1.5 Euro/liter. So for 1 bottle of vodka you buy 2L milk 2 Kg potatoes, 1 Kg apples, 2Kg of bread and 1/2Kg of cheap beef.

“what can a bottle of vodka buy you?”

The courage to face the grim reality of life.

In 1980s, 1 kg of bread cost 16 kopecks, or 0.16 roubles. In the same period, a bottle of vodka cost at least 3 roubles in 1970s, then its price was going up all the time, to about 5 roubles in 1980s, then by 1990 it was 10 roubles. Even at 3 roubles, a bottle of vodka cost the same as about 20 kg of bread, not 2 kg.

Milk cost 46 kopecks per litre, so that’s about 6 litres of milk per bottle of vodka.

Beef in 1980s… was not available in stores at all (only at farmer’s markets), so I don’t remember how much it cost. Older people who grew up in 1960s when beef was still available, they may remember.

By 1990, a standard salary for an engineer was about 150 roubles per month, that was just 15 bottles of vodka! Vodka became “liquid gold” so many people were paid for their work by vodka. I once unloaded a truck of brick together with my buddy, and we were paid one bottle of vodka each.