Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Sara Swann
By Sara Swann December 14, 2023

Here’s how much Kevin McCallister’s ‘Home Alone’ shopping trip would cost in 2023

If Your Time is short

  • In the 1990 movie "Home Alone," 8-year-old Kevin McCallister bought 10 items during a solo grocery store trip for a total of $19.83.

  • When shopping at the same store — the Grand Food Center in Winnetka, Illinois — and accounting for inflation and differences in product sizes, the 2023 total for the same 10 products is $56.84.

This time of year many people are rewatching the 1990 holiday classic "Home Alone," and some are wondering aloud how much Kevin McCallister’s solo grocery store trip would cost today.

In the movie, 8-year-old Kevin, played by Macaulay Culkin, is mistakenly left behind by his family when they travel to Paris for Christmas. Alone, Kevin must defend his suburban Chicago home from a pair of burglars. While fending for himself, Kevin visits a nearby grocery store to buy food and household supplies.

Kevin’s haul cost him just under $20. Thirty-three years later, some social media users are claiming the same items would now cost more than three times that amount.

A Dec. 5 X post said, "The total in 1990? $19.83. Last year those items cost $44.40. Today? Only 1 year later, those same items cost $72.28, after tax. That’s a 248 percent increase. I am SICK."

Screenshots of the X post have been shared multiple times on Instagram. These Instagram posts were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

(Screengrab from Instagram)

We did our own price comparison and found that the posts exaggerated how much Kevin’s groceries would cost today.

During his trip, Kevin buys 10 items: milk, orange juice, bread, microwavable macaroni and cheese, a microwavable turkey dinner, laundry detergent, toilet paper, dryer sheets, plastic wrap and plastic Army figurines. His total, after using a $1 coupon for the orange juice, comes to $19.83.

For our comparison, we checked prices at the same store where Kevin shopped: the Grand Food Center in Winnetka, Illinois. It’s about a six-minute walk from the McCallister house in "Home Alone," which is convenient because Kevin’s grocery bags broke on his walk home.

Since the movie’s release in 1990, food and household products have changed not only in price, but also in size and packaging. To account for this, we calculated the per-unit cost of the items. For example, if an item was sold in a 20-ounce package in 1990 and today it is sold in a 10-ounce package, we would double the 2023 price to make it comparable to the 1990 size.

For items we couldn’t find on the Grand Food Center’s online store, we substituted similar products from that store and also looked at different retailers for comparison. We also didn’t factor in store discounts on certain products since those fluctuate.

Here’s how much Kevin’s groceries cost, as of Dec. 13:

  • Whole milk, half gallon — $3.29

    Featured Fact-check

  • Tropicana orange juice — $7.62 (The movie doesn’t show what size carton Kevin buys, but a popular size at the time was 64 ounces. We adjusted the cost of today’s 52-ounce jug to accommodate for the larger 1990 size.)

  • Wonder bread, 20 ounces — $2.99 (Wonder bread wasn’t available, so we substituted a similar white bread from Butternut.)

  • Kraft microwavable macaroni and cheese, 12 ounces — $4.64 (The same product Kevin bought wasn’t available, so we chose a similar Kraft product.)

  • Stouffer’s microwavable roast turkey dinner — $5.85 (The movie doesn’t show the size, so we chose 12 ounces, the same size as the Kraft product. The price was adjusted because today’s Stouffer’s meals are smaller by about 2.5 ounces.)

  • Tide laundry detergent — $11.12 (The movie doesn’t show the amount, but based on size, it appears to be a 64-ounce jug. Tide isn’t sold in that size today, so we adjusted the price accordingly.)

  • Quilted Northern toilet paper, four rolls — $7.33 (The smallest size toilet paper pack we found had six rolls so we adjusted the price accordingly. The sheet count for Kevin’s toilet paper rolls is unknown.)

  • Snuggle dryer sheets, 20 count — $1.37 (Snuggle wasn’t available at this store, so we chose Bounty and calculated the price based off the 120-count package.)

  • Wrappit! plastic wrap, 100 square feet — $2.69 (We couldn’t find this brand at any store, so we chose a 100-square-foot package of Glad cling wrap.)

  • Plastic Army figurines, one bag — $8.91 (These aren’t sold online at the Grand Food Center; we found a 50-piece bag at Walmart.)

The Grand Food Center told us its Winnetka location adds a 2.25% sales tax on food items and a 9% tax on nonfood items, so the combined sales tax for the 10 items would be $3.38.

Adjusting Kevin’s $1 orange juice coupon for inflation, the discount would be equivalent to $2.35 in 2023, making the total cost of these items $56.84. That’s $15.44 less than the $72.28 that the social media posts claimed it would cost. Not adjusting for inflation and differences in packaging sizes results in a higher total of $72.63.

Today’s prices are about 2.35 times higher than the average prices were in 1990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, Kevin’s shopping total of $19.83 in 1990 has the same buying power as about $46.59 in 2023.

The X post links to a Dec. 5 Breitbart article that says the items would cost $72.28 in 2023. The Breitbart article, in turn, cites a TikTok user’s video from last year and a "recent" NewsNation report.

But the NewsNation article is a year old, published in November 2022. NewsNation said one of its reporters bought these items in 2022 at a Chicago grocery store and the total was $72.28.

We rate the claim that the "Home Alone" shopping trip that cost $19.83 in 1990 would cost $72.28 in 2023 False.

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Sara Swann

Here’s how much Kevin McCallister’s ‘Home Alone’ shopping trip would cost in 2023

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up