The KitchenAid Mixer is commonly regarded as the top banana of wedding registry items, often purchased jointly by both sets of in-laws. That is, unless you've got a well-paid celebrity chef somewhere in the family lineage—the things are freakin' expensive. But for home cooks like me, no robotic kitchen device is more critical than KitchenAid's meat grinding attachment. (Sold separately, but seen in action here with creepy audio-swapped soundtrack suggested by YouTube. Apparently, it's an ambient work by Meat Beat Manifesto. How appropriate!)
In my ongoing mission to be the thriftiest bastard in the supermarket, I've renounced the buying of pre-ground meat in favor of doing it myself with this little jobby. As with the whole chicken vs. pre-cut chicken parts argument, the more your meat has been fussed around with by the fat lady in the smock, the more you end up paying for it. I've ground up lamb, beef, chicken, turkey, and pork, but even if your only need for ground meat is burgers, why not save some money and do it yourself? I guarantee you that freshly ground meat tastes better than the shrink-wrapped stuff. And perhaps more importantly, it gives you a reason to write a sneering post about it on your blog.
Incidentally, this really was the scene in my kitchen this morning at 7:53 AM. That's a pork tenderloin being demolished in the name of emergency chili for weekend company. Please don't mention that the "emergency" is that the meat was about to expire. The Nihilist Spasm Band is sure to back me up on this.