GROUND BEEF: I buy ground beef/chuck in a 5 lb. roll when it goes on sale. I will buy 10 - 15 lbs. at a time. A while back I bought a bunch of Tupperware patty-shapers from eBay and I use them to make patties to freeze with several lbs. of the meat. I usually use about 2 lb. to make my favorite meatball recipe, cook them on a cookie sheet in the oven, and then freeze them in meal-sized portions. I put the rest of the meat in a large pot and cover with water. Boil until done, stirring to break apart. When it's done, I drain in a colander, separate the cooked meat (a little over 2 cups) into small containers...one container for each lb. of meat cooked...and freeze. These containers of cooked beef are great for a quick meal like tacos, chili, or any casserole that calls for ground beef. Boiling does not effect the taste and the grease washes off easily. This method cuts way down on the mess when it's time to cook my meals.
GREEN BAGS: I picked up a box of Debbie Meyer Green Bags at Walgreens. I thought I would give them a try since I HATE to throw fresh fruit and veggies away because they went bad before I could use them. The verdict? They work! The box had 20 bags (each bag can be used up to 10 times each) for $10.
NETFLIX: We made the decision several years ago to go with the lower-priced base service from the local cable company, because the price for the premium service ($50+ vs $15) just wasn't justified for us. Last month we tried a free 14-day trial of Netflix and it's great! There are several plans available. We chose the one for $8.95 per month. This is the way it works: we go to the Netflix website (www.netflix.com) and pick out the movies that we would like to see. They are placed in a queue, in the order that we want to see them. They mail us the first movie and it usually gets here the next day. We can keep it as long as we want, but we try to mail it back the next day (in a postage-paid envelope). When they receive it back, they mail us the next movie in our queue. Using this process, we can easily get 8 rentals a month, which is a great deal for the $8.95. They have thousands of movies from which to chose...classics and new releases.