That’s Not a RV, That’s a House!

Just for fun, we went to a RV show on Saturday. It was a gloomy day anyway and the event was being held indoors, so we thought it might be a nice way to pass the morning. In 2015, we casually strolled through a similar show in Florida and had a great time looking at all of the unique camping vehicles on display, from tiny Teardrops to respectable size motorhomes, and everything in between. The Middle Tennessee RV Show was not at all like that. Instead, I thought we landed in the RV version of Nashville’s Parade of Homes (and paid $10 apiece to get there!).

It took a minute for us to switch gears upon entering the show. We had halfway expected the Universe to answer our recurring question of “should we give full-time RVing a try again” by presenting us with the perfect vehicle – solar powered, decent storage, queen-sized bed, modest bathroom, and plenty of space for the cat; all compacted into something the size of a cargo van. Instead, the Universe smacked us in the face with reality. These weren’t your average recreational vehicles or even wannabe tiny houses. These were penthouse apartments on wheels!

I can honestly say, I’ve never seen such luxury in a recreational vehicle in all my life. There were travel trailers with media rooms to seat 8 people comfortable in leather recliners. There were 5th wheels with slide-out kitchens the size of our bedroom. One even had a 6’ x 8’ granite kitchen island and an oversize side-by-side refrigerator freezer (stainless steel, in case you were wondering). More than one trailer had 4 televisions. Several had fireplaces. And one even had a garage. Yes, a garage beneath the master bedroom that would hold a golf cart or quite possibly our Chevy Spark.

After adjusting our expectations, we had a great time pretending we were rich. We sat in the media rooms. We sprawled across the beds. We opened the refrigerators and imagined them filled with food. We flicked on fireplaces. We walked into the walk-in closets. We turned on the TV in the outdoor kitchen and grabbed a pretend soda from the mini-fridge.

How cute is this??

On the way out, just on the outskirts of the show, we saw something that really didn’t fit with the rest of the offerings. It was so small, we thought it might actually be a pet camper. Nope, it was a travel trailer called the E-Pro 12RK. It was so cute! Totally impractical for full-time living but absolutely adorable nonetheless. It’s basically a bed and a kitchen. We wanted to get a better look at it without attracting a salesman but that’s didn’t happen. Mr. Salesman gave us his standard pitch – how it only weighs 1,200 pounds and can be towed by anything and is the perfect entry-level camper for folks who are new to camping.

We both spontaneous burst into laughter. We’ve slept in a 2-man tent with a dog and a cat while crossing the country from Denver to Tampa. We’ve held down a dome tent, from the inside, in a Florida windstorm. We’ve gone to sleep with it 70 degrees outside, only to wake up with icicles inside our tent the next morning. We’ve shared accommodations with lizards, ants, flies, and mosquitoes in a vintage travel trailer named Scotty. We’ve gotten locked in a KOA Kamping Kabin. And once we even spent the night curled up in our Spark. And those are just the fun times. I think we could teach Intro to Camping.

When we left the RV show, we went to the nearest park for a picnic lunch. We sat alone in our little tiny car contemplating the future and again pondering the question of road-tripping in a RV. Maybe someday, we concluded, just not right now and that’s okay. There are plenty of other adventures we have yet to try before returning to something we have. As we sat there dreaming aloud and passing a bowl of grapes back and forth, I couldn’t help but think about the simpler things in life – the grapes, the picnic, the fun we had playing make-believe at the RV show, and I realized, how very little it takes to be truly happy.

Food Waste Update

This was a huge week for food rescue. We happened by the store when they were tossing out spiral sliced hams and oranges by the bag full. We took home 3 hams to distribute to families in need and 69 oranges. 

  • Wasted Food this week: 0 ounces
  • Total Wasted Food in 2018: 38 ounces
  • Rescued Food this week:  85.22 US pounds
  • Total Food Rescued this year:  184.39 US pounds

Keep up with our food finds in real time by viewing our Food Find Gallery.

5 Ways to Rescue Food (without diving in the dumpster)

Dumpster diving is just not your thing. We get it. It takes a special kind of weirdo to stick their head (or body) in a stinky, grimy refuse bin and pull out something to eat. We love being that kind of weirdo, but we also know that if dumpster diving was the only way to rescue food, our food waste problem would never be solved. Luckily, there are other (more proactive) options.

Reduced for Quick Sale Bins

We love the fact that almost all of the grocers around us (and even Walmart) have a rack for day-old breads, pastries, and other baked goods. Some grocers, like Kroger, take that concept a step further and have a quick-sale bin for produce. These areas are our first stop when shopping. On almost every occasion, we’ve been able to find just what we were looking for to fill our weekly shopping list – be it lettuce, apples, bananas, potatoes, or more – on the quick-sale rack.

Clearance Sales

Unlike the quick-sale bin, which usually only offers fresh produce and/or baked goods, your grocer’s clearance rack may have needed pantry items at a drastically reduced price. Kroger, Food Lion, and Walmart (in our area) all have clearance areas for food items. In fact, right now our Walmart is undergoing a remodel and they have an entire clearance end-cap. Items that are no longer going to be carried by the store but are in perfectly good condition are placed here. This week, we were able to stock up on PAM cooking spray (50 cents a can), banana flour ($1 a bag), unsweetened almond milk ($1 for 1/2 gallon), baking powder (25 cents a can), dried cherries ($1 a bag), and more.


On the way home from my mom’s house yesterday, we saw a tangerine on the side of the road. I assume it fell out of a grocery bag or a kid’s backpack and it probably would have rotted there if we had not picked it up and eaten it. Yes, technically that’s not true “foraging” but how often do tangerines just jump out in front of you? Not very often, I would guess. But you’re probably passing perfectly edible foods every day and you don’t even know it. Learn what’s edible in the wild. Pick berries on your walk through the woods. Gather nuts off the ground. Pick apples hanging over a fence row (on public property, of course).


Gleaning is similar to foraging but with permission from the garden owner (in most cases). We have several neighbors who have old fruit trees in their yards. Since they didn’t plant them, most have little to no interest in harvesting the fruit. By simply asking for permission, we’ve harvested buckets full of pears, apples, and peaches. And a few years ago, my mom’s next-door-neighbor completely abandoned his garden and allowed us to glean everything we could get our hands on.

Closeout Stores

Though not my first choice, closeout stores are still a viable option for rescuing food. Many of these stores obtain their inventory from other stores that have gone out of business or purchased too much of a particular item to sell themselves. The foods found here are generally packaged goods – dried fruits, nuts, canned goods, spices, and pastas – and most are at or close to expiration. They are typically 1/2 the price of the same item in the grocery store and most will still be good long past the date on the package.

Food Waste Update
We took a break from dumpster diving this week to go to the mountains for a short vacation.

  • Wasted Food this week: 0 ounces
  • Total Wasted Food in 2018: 38 ounces
  • Rescued Food this week:  .25 US pounds
  • Total Food Rescued this year:  99.17 US pounds

Keep up with our food finds in real time by viewing our Food Find Gallery.