Skrunda 1 

Empty bottles in Soviet Union – this is the money!

As many other stores in the Soviet Union, also the store in Skrunda offered people good money for their empty glass bottles. All you had to do was to fish out of your rubbish bin at least one bottle. Preferably a beer bottle as their exchange rate was higher (20 kopecks) than the one for milk bottles (15 kopecks).

OK, so you have managed to get it and you have those 20 kopecks in your palm. What can you buy for that money? Well, back then you could get a kilo of bread or a litre of milk. Not hungry? How about 4 bus tickets for rides within city limits. Not in for sightseeing? Maybe a haircut is the way to spend that money?

If any of these options just seemed not enough, trying to find another beer bottle would increase your chances as a pair would allow you to buy a litre of petrol or see a movie at the cinema. And if you were so lucky to find 10 of them, you could afford to take out your girlfriend or boyfriend for a dinner.

If you drank a whole case of them (for Latvians its 20 bottles), you could go to a store (most likely not since you just drank 20 beers) and get a box of high-quality chocolates. However I am not sure chocolate would kill the hangover. A proper meal is always a nice option – a kilo of ham maybe? Or a tin of red caviar which unfortunately you could get only if you had the right connections.

You can’t get good deals anymore at the store in Skrunda, but you can visit it and imagine the life back then and the people who visited the place to sell and buy bottles.


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