One of the things I hear and talk about quite often (and who doesn't?) with friends, relatives, and co-workers is the constant increase in the cost of gas and food in Berkshire County.

There's no doubt that the cost of living continues to be a challenge. Like many folks in the Berkshires, my wife, and I purchase groceries weekly. There are certain items that we have cut back on buying. For one, we don't buy as much beef as we used to and we have been purchasing more store brand/generic items. Take cereal for example, if I were to take a side-by-side blind taste of some of the cereals I eat I wouldn't be able to tell a difference between the name-brand and store-brand versions. The same goes with oatmeal, canned vegetables, and a whole host of items. In these times you save where you can.

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How Do Massachusetts Annual Food Costs Compare to the Rest of the United States?

We're not only seeing the food costs rise in Berkshire County. As a matter of fact, Massachusetts's annual food costs are a bit higher than the rest of the United States believe it or not. According to an article published by 24/7 Wall St. entitled Cost of Living Massachusetts, a single adult spends an average of $3,544 on food annually, and a family of four spends $10,235 on average. How does that compare to the rest of the country? I'm glad you asked. According to the article, the nationwide average amount of money spent on food is $3,240 for a single adult and $9,354 for a family of four. For some, that may not be a huge increase but when you're talking close to a $900 difference for a family of four that can get costly, especially during these current times.  As a matter of fact, the cost of living in Massachusetts is 127.2 and the grocery cost is 108.9 according to Best Places.

After looking at those figures, I think I may want to take up a full-time job in coupon clipping. How about you?

KEEP READING: How about some food history? 

LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.

READ ON: Do you remember these cafeteria meals?

See How School Cafeteria Meals Have Changed Over the Past 100 Years

Using government and news reports, Stacker has traced the history of cafeteria meals from their inception to the present day, with data from news and government reports. Read on to see how various legal acts, food trends, and budget cuts have changed what kids are getting on their trays.

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