see what you could buy in 2002 and what you can put in your cart now

It seems like yesterday, but it’s already gone two decades since the note of R$ 20 it was launched. Since then, in addition to the look of the banknote — redesigned in 2012 — a lot has changed, especially what you can buy at that price.

If updated by inflation, which erodes the purchasing power of Brazilians, the ballot Golden Lion tamarin it should be valid today BRL 69according to the Broad National Consumer Price Index (IPCA).

In 2002, the minimum wage rose from R$180 to R$200. The R$20, therefore, represented 10% of the income of those who earned the national minimum wage. Now, the value is equivalent to 1.65% of the current R$ 1,212.

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Data from the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Index (IBGE) also show that, in these 20 years, the supermarket trolley just got 360% more expensiveand the shopping list paid at that time with R$ 20 was dwindling.

— Purchasing power has shrunk a lot. Accumulated inflation is 254% based on the IPCA and, as a result, the reality of prices has drastically changed. It’s as if we multiplied the price of products by four. The R$20 note buys much less in the face of such high inflation. In real terms, if we divide it by the accumulated inflation, it is as if it bought something equivalent to R$ 5.65 today — calculates André Braz, economist at the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV).

what was it possible to buy

One ballot release day supermarket insert — on June 27, 2002 — showed that with R$ 20 it was possible to buy 1 kg of rump or sirloin, 5 kg of rice, 1 kg of beans, 1 kg of sugar, 500 g of coffee, a can of powdered milk, a 1 kg package of powdered soap, a soap and a 500ml detergent. There was still R$ 0.06 left over.

Already in this week’s booklet from the same supermarket chain, it is possible to buy just 500g of coffee and a bottle of detergent, or a pack of 5 kg of rice and another of 1 kg of sugar — in this case, still completing R$ 0.94.

Also according to the leaflet of the time, a 500g package of chocolate milk cost BRL 2.37. With R$20, it was possible to buy almost ten units. Since then, the same brand has reduced the can, today with 370g, sold for R$ 7.19. The consumer would not be able to buy three units.

A can of olive oil of 500ml cost R$ 4.56 in 2002. Thus, a bill of R$ 20 paid for four units. Today, a 400ml bottle costs R$ 17.98.

the kilo of little filet (sassami) chicken, which at the time went for R$ 4.39, today it sells for R$ 11.98, considering the cheapest brand. With just over R$ 20, therefore, it is possible to buy just two packages (paying a few extra change), quite different from the almost five that could be taken in 2002.

Year of Penta

The R$20 note was the last to be released in the so-called first Real family, and it took 18 years for another note to come into circulation: the R$200 note, launched in 2020. In the meantime, in addition to the remodeling of the notes , which started to have different sizes and new security devices, the R$ 1 note was suspended.

In the week the ballot was released, the men’s soccer team was looking to win the fifth World Cup, held in Japan and South Korea. To watch the matches, many families and friends gathered during the morning or late at night, due to the time difference.

But when the celebration for the victories of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team extended, the barbecue was guaranteed — and just barely.

In the week of winning the Penta, the same supermarket chain sold a kilo of rump and sirloin for R$ 4.49. Today, the value in the same network is R$ 34.98 or R$ 36.98.

The Tuscan sausage was sold 20 years ago for R$2.29 a kilo, and the chicken heart tray went for R$4.55. A 350ml can of beer from a popular brand, now sold for R$2.89 at the same place, used to cost R$0.59. The bottle of soda went for R$ 1.28, R$ 4.71 less than the current R$ 5.99.

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Braz explains that, in addition to the 360% accumulated increase in food for home consumption, meats had an even greater increase:

— The meat rose more than the average rise. Brazil is exporting more, and the commodities that are part of the production are more expensive. If it were just for the general accumulated inflation, the kilo (of the rump or the sirloin, with the reference price of the quoted supermarket) would be around R$ 16. If we take into account the inflation of food, R$ 21, but still far of the prices we have today,” he says.

Another item whose current price is impressive compared to the old inserts is coffee. The 500g package sold for R$1.88 in 2002. Today, the same brand’s packaging is sold for R$17.48. The product became 70% more expensive in the last 12 months.

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— Last year, we had a very intense cold, which caused a great loss in the sector. It was a super shock. The coffee harvest is bi-annual, which means that the production of a good harvest takes place every two years. So, it is difficult to restore the market and the price to return to normal.