Historically, macaroni and cheese has always been a staple in poor times. It's comfort food, but what's really important is that it's cheap comfort food.

That's still true, but it's not as cheap as it used to be. If you're shopping with a calculator these days, trying to watch every penny, it's worth noting: Kraft announced earlier this week that it raised its prices earlier in the year on quite a few of its food items, including its iconic Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, a favorite in recessionary times.

I briefly tried to track down exactly how many cents it raised the prices with no luck, but the company's profits went up 10% despite selling 2% less product in the year before (Kraft doesn't just make mac and cheese, of course: it also makes Oreos and Oscar Mayer lunch meats, among other products.) Every company's entitled to make a buck, of course, and I'd rather see Kraft do well, and thus keep its employees, than discount everything, see profits tank, lay off thousands and implode as a company.

Still, we are in the midst of what a lot of people are calling the Great Recession, and so if you're buying macaroni and cheese and want the cheapest product, you may just want to compare your brands a little more carefully than usual.

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