We have put together a list of costs of good in Zimbabwe from 1982, going up every four years (1986, 1990…) for comparisons. While this has not been done by professional economics scholars (see Poverty Datum Line (PDL) and more), we hope this will be representative, and real, and allow people to make some simple comparisons between “then” and “now” in an anecdotal manner. Selected August because it was “Show Week” in Harare.

They are taken from newspapers (The Herald, Financial Gazette, etc.), both from paid advertisements and classifieds (e.g. second hand cars). In the case of advertisements, “sales” were avoided as these would not be usual prices.

For a contextual glimpse of what has happening then, see History of Zimbabwe Timeline. For related profiles see:

August 1982

The Herald, 10c


potatoes, 59c, 65c/2kg, $1.59/5kg, $3.50 to $4.30/15kg.
onions, 39c/500g.
tomatoes, 35c/500g, 60c/kg.
lettuce, 9c.
cabbage, 22c , 29c/head.

Beef, $1.99 per kg.
rump, $2.70 per kg, , rump, $14.90/kg.
steak mince, $1.29/kg.

Boerewors, $1.64/1kg, $1.99/kg.

Pork Chops, $1.99/kg.
boneless pork chops.
Colcom pork sausages, 79c/500g.

whole Chicken (minimum 1.25 kg), $2.59
mixed chicken portions, $10.29/5kg.
legs, $11.39/5kg.

Cold drinks, family size, crown top, 23c.
Mazoe 2l, $1.01.
Tanganda tea, 65c/250g, $1.52/500g.

Condensed milk, tin, 67c, 68c.
Corned Beef, 21c, 99c.

roller meal (mealie meal), 45c/5kg, 47c/5kg, Stork Maragarine, $1.72/2kg, sunsweet sugar, 25c/kg


Jade Soap, 44c.
Green bar soap, 55c / bar, to 52c / bar.

Three piece large sofa suite, $235, $399, $550.
Four piece, $495, $609.

60W light bulbs (2 pack), 39c.

LPS (vinyl music!), $3.99, singles, 15c.

Electricity, $2.25 / KWh


Men’s shirts $7.95 to $18.95, $7.95 to $21.15.
Short Sleeved shirts, $7.95, $8.99

Vehicles (second hand)

1969 Alfa 1300, $1550.
Alfa Sud, $4500, $4600.
Renault R4, $1200.


Forex telegraphic buy rates per Z$
US$, 1.30
Rand 1.52
GBP 76.54

US$ 1.31
R 1.51
GBP 76.74

Other costs

Cllrs Allowances, $2250 maximum, per year (for the highest ratings). So could be $1000 to $1250 for an average Cllr.
State Lottery First prize, $50 000, Second $15 000, Third $7 500.
Bus fare, South Street to Harare Show, 10c. Runs hourly.