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The Price of Girl Scout Cookies Through the Years

Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times / iStock.com
Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times / iStock.com

Just a few years after the Girl Scouts were founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912, the tradition of troops selling cookies began. The first Girl Scout cookies were sold by the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1917 -- the scouts baked cookies and sold them in a high school cafeteria as a service project, according to the Girl Scouts official website. Several other troops began baking and selling cookies throughout the 1920s and '30s, and in 1935, the Girl Scout Federation of Greater New York raised money through the sale of commercially baked cookies for the first time. The following year, the national Girl Scout organization began the process of licensing the first commercial bakers to produce cookies that would be sold nationwide by troops.

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Now, selling cookies has become a Girl Scout tradition, with people all over the country clamoring to get their hands on a box of Thin Mints, Samoas, other longtime favorites and this year's hit, Raspberry Rally. While those first Girl Scout cookies were sold for just a quarter per dozen, the 2023 version is considerably more - and the cost depends on where you're buying.

Still, if you see a cookie booth in front of one of your local stores, grab your goodies now. The annual sales end this month.

Take a look at Girl Scout cookie prices throughout the years.

Marie C Fields / Shutterstock.com
Marie C Fields / Shutterstock.com

1920s: 25 to 35 Cents per Dozen

In July 1922, The American Girl magazine, published by Girl Scouts of the USA, featured the first official Girl Scout cookie recipe. The recipe was created by Florence E. Neil, a local director in Chicago, who approximated the cost of the simple sugar cookies to be 26 to 36 cents for six to seven dozen cookies.

Throughout the 1920s, Girl Scouts around the U.S. baked their own versions of the sugar cookie and sold them door-to-door for 25 to 35 cents per dozen, according to the official Girl Scouts website.

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1933: 23 Cents per 44 Cookies

The next reported cookie price was actually a decrease from the previous decade. According to the official Girl Scouts website, in 1933, the Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council baked cookies and sold them in the city's gas and electric company windows for 23 cents per box of 44 cookies. They also sold six boxes for $1.24.

jetcityimage / Getty Images
jetcityimage / Getty Images

1974: $1 to $1.25 per Box

By 1974, Girl Scout cookies had expanded beyond sugar cookies and were now available in a number of flavors, including Chocolate Mint (now known as Thin Mints), Shortbread and Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies. Historical newspaper data collected by the On The Feed blog found that during this year, cookies were sold for $1 or $1.25 per box, depending on the location.

CatLane / Getty Images
CatLane / Getty Images

1981: $1.50 per Box

According to a New York Times article about Girl Scout cookie sales in 1981, boxes were sold for around $1.50.

"Each of the [...] independent Girl Scout Councils throughout the country, through which the cookies are ordered and distributed, collects 65 cents for every box it sells," the Times reported.

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belchonock / Getty Images/iStockphoto
belchonock / Getty Images/iStockphoto

1999: $3 per Box

In 1999, local scouts in Marshall, Missouri began selling cookies for $3 per box, The Marshall Democrat-News reported. By this year, eight cookie varieties were available, including low-fat and sugar-free options.

tdub303 / iStock.com
tdub303 / iStock.com

2004: $3.50 per Box

In 2004, troops in some areas raised the price 50 cents to $3.50 per box. The increase was made as a result of higher expenses for cookie bakers and an increase in the amount given to each troop per box of cookies sold, The Marshall-Democrat News reported.

garagestock / Shutterstock.com
garagestock / Shutterstock.com

2012: $4 per Box

The Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys announced in July 2012 that they would be selling Girl Scout cookies for $4 per box, the Star Tribune reported. Linda B. Keene, CEO of the local council, cited increased baking costs and other inflationary factors as the reasons for the price increase.

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Karen Culp / Shutterstock.com
Karen Culp / Shutterstock.com

2015: $5 per Box

In November 2015, the Girls Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts announced that cookie prices would be increasing 25% to $5 per box, CNBC reported. The Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast also raised their prices from $4 to $5 that year. Some local councils in other parts of California and Hawaii had already raised their prices to $5.

"The council sees the increase as an opportunity to offset natural price increases for running the cookie program -- from the cost of raw materials and bakery production to transportation," Tammy Gentry, vice president of marketing for the Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast, told CNBC.

Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com
Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

2021: $5 to $6 per Box

In July 2020, the Girls Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois announced that prices for Girl Scout cookies would increase for the 2021 season. Traditional cookie flavors -- Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, Trefoils, Lemon-Ups and S'mores -- would be sold for $5 per package, and the Toffee-tastic specialty flavor would be sold for $6 per package.

CatLane / Getty Images
CatLane / Getty Images

2023: $5 to $6 per Box

The Girl Scouts of Chesapeake Bay have sold most varieties for $5 per box this year, with the S'mores and Toffee-tastic priced at $6.

Nationwide, however, not all has run smoothly for the scouts this cookie season. The dreaded supply-chain issues and labor shortages, as well as a weather-related power outage at one of two national manufacturers, caused a cookie shortage, CNN reported.

The Raspberry Rally was available online only and sold out in less than a day when sales started earlier this year, per CNN. Grabbing the limited-edition treat wasn't cheap, however, with shipping costs added. The scouts' websites says there's a four-box minimum for online ordering, and shipping four to eight boxes costs $12.99, or $14.99 for nine to 12 boxes. Of course, some lucky buyers have taken to eBay to try to re-sell their boxes of Raspberry Rally, which is a raspberry-flavored twist on the always-popular Thin Mints. While listed prices vary, some sellers have been asking for as much as $25 per box.

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Jami Farkas contributed to the reporting of this article.

Disclaimer: Photos are for representational purposes only.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Price of Girl Scout Cookies Through the Years