To every single person who left a comment on my last post, or who emailed me

Thank you

Thank you so very much. Your kind words have made all the difference. That nasty email, which was not anonymous by the way, has been entirely obliterated by the 'mass of warm, friendly comments'* I am no longer upset but upbeat and full of plans for future blog posts.

Please accept these Autumn flowers from my garden with my grateful thanks.

I am sorry if I alarmed you by saying I didn't feel like blogging. I never intended to stop, I only meant I didn't feel like it just then. I wanted to explain why I wasn't continuing the store cupboard challenge as I didn't want to abandon it with no explanation.

Store Cupboard Challenge Conclusion

It is too late now to continue with it as I have (inevitably) restocked. I wouldn't have continued beyond tomorrow in any case as we would have been down to brown rice and lentils and not much else and the exercise was never meant to be punishing.

What I learnt

1) I  saved a lot of money. I spent about £130 over three weeks which for a family of five (only one of whom has a child's appetite) isn't bad. 

2) Although I have never bought exactly whatever food I fancied  I've always kept an eye on my budget, but I have never been so constrained by my finances that I couldn't buy more baked beans if I wanted to. For that reason the challenge was worthwhile.

3) It also taught me that if I needed to I could spend very little on food. I may well take one week a month when I only buy the fresh things I can't do without and plan our meals around what we already have. This would be a good way of keeping the budget down. If I do that I will certainly blog about it.

* Thank you Alice


  1. Oh dear........

    I have come over to catch up with you and cannot believe what I have just read on your last post.
    Keep on doing what you do! It's YOUR blog and if there are things people don't like then they don't need to keep reading.

  2. Really glad to see you go from 'upset' to 'upbeat' Sue!!!

  3. I'm smiling because I really think you might be too!

    Heather x

  4. #that is more like the Sue that we know and love! Beautiful flowers, thank you.

  5. Thank you for the beautiful bouquet … and for the gift of your blog. One of my favourites : )

  6. Yay, she's back. Thanks for the flowers. I've not had any for ages...

  7. Thank you for the lovely flowers - such a pretty bouquet and much appreciated! I am so glad that you are now feeling upbeat again. I think your challenge was well worthwhile doing and I will be referring to it in future too as you had some good ideas in there! A once a month economy week sounds like a great idea - I might pinch that too if you don't mind? Hope you enjoy your weekend and that your family will enjoy your wonderful recipes especially now you have a well stocked cupboard again!

  8. The flowers are lovely.

    The conclusion to your challenge is far more worthwhile than the amount you saved over the last three weeks (although that's pretty staggering). It's putting the principles into practice and making it sustainable. I for one have learnt a lot from that.

  9. Glad you're feeling better. The challenge certainly made me think and look at what was filling my freezer and cupboards. Flowers are lovely .

  10. Hi Sue , I didn't see your previous post but I've now read it and can see why you were upset.......so glad all the wonderful comments you received have cheered you up . I too love your blog and admire what you do.
    Jacquie x
    P.S. made your oaty ginger biscuits .....they were fab .....there's a picture and link over at mine if you haven't seen them yet :0)

  11. Beautiful flowers Suw :) Glad you're back on the positive beat. Looking forward to more wonderful blog posts :)

  12. Always love being given flowers, thank you. Glad to hear you are not letting that misery get to you and very, very glad to hear blogging will continue as per! x

  13. Hi Sue I wrote a long and lovely comment on the bottom of your last post - but my computer played up and didn't post it. So know you had my support, even when you didn't actually get the words. I had wanted to let you know that I am always jealous reading your posts, the reason being that you get your children to eat both spicy food and lentils! If you ever fancy posting some recipes for meals that helped that along, I will promise to make them (I have already made several of your recipes - please think of yourself as my personal Nigella) I love the flowers, thank you so much. Lovely to have you back. x

  14. Why thank you for the flowers they look lovely - lol xx Well done you on your savings - right your lessons need to be applied here xx

  15. Michelle5:01 pm BST

    Oh thank goodness you're back!! Thank you for the flowers, I'm so looking forward to continuing on the journey with you.

  16. Anonymous5:15 pm BST

    Delighted to see you back and thank you for the flowers. All is good again

  17. That's the ticket! Put it all behind you and carry on. Your readers need you.

  18. wahey! Good to see you back from the bruising. x

  19. Well done you, as everyone else says keep on blogging the way you do. I like your blog and have used quite a few of your recipes with great success, so keep up the good work!

  20. Fisherwife6:36 pm BST

    I knew you were only temporarily upset. Thanks for the flowers, they are beautiful. I have never received flowers from England.

  21. Anonymous7:15 pm BST

    Pleased (and relieved) to see you are back and over the upset. Lovely flowers, thank you.

    Sue McD

  22. Have only just caught up with your blog but was shocked to find such a nasty comment about your storecupboard challenge. I found it riveting & although I'm retired and live alone I used to do a similar thing years ago. I'd do the weekly shop for three weeks then in the fourth (just before husband's payday) I'd feed us from the storecupboards. It worked out that I would have money to put aside for Xmas, birthdays, holidays etc.

    Also I have just tonight made your curry - it is one of the lovliest meals I have ever eaten in my life. Stirring in the mango chutney is such a good tip. I also have the crusty bread proving in the kitchen for tomorrow & the fork biscuits wrapped in the 'fridge to bake tomorrow.

    I love your blog & will follow it more regularly. Best wishes. 'Skip' x

  23. Pati from london8:00 pm BST

    Glad you feel much happier Sue!! The flowers are lovely!! Have a great weekend! Pati x

  24. I'm glad that you are feeling more positive Sue and haven't let that one negative email get to you. Lovely picture of flowers too. Linda xxx

  25. Gorgeous bouquet of flowers. How lovely to offer them to all your readers!
    By the way, I tried out that crusty bread recipe and it was fabulous!
    Have a wonderful Sunday and by the way, being upbeat suits you, it's what I always thought you were anyway!

  26. gorgeous flowers, glad to hear you are back on form xxxx

  27. So good that the good has wiped away the bad. Good triumphs over evil!!! ;-)

    S x

  28. I personally continue to be amazed at the lack of manners this medium seems to unleash. People are willing to forgo all sorts of introductions, salutaions and general ettiquette simply becuase they can hide behind a screen. Honestly, I undersand how you feel; but I would take the advice of so many others and carry on. We love reading your blog whether our pantry is as big or not! That other person needs a reality check.

    Cindy in US

  29. The warm fireplace12:15 am BST

    Glad you are ok,if only people would be kinder to each other the world would be a better place, it has been brilliant your store cupboard challenge, makes you think about what you have and how you can save.

  30. Glad to hear it Sue. I've only just read up on what happened and have trouble accepting someone would actually bother emailing you with such a jealous missive. What is the point? Exactly? We're all at different stages and phases in our lives (and therefore our blogging interests) and if someone doesn't like how you spend your time, well, that's their problem.

    I love your blog and really enjoy your posts. Thanks for taking the time to share what you do. Also, I think the pantry challenge is an excellent one.

    Who is it that said 'there's more art in a good soup than in a bad painting'? That's what I think of your blog. So thank you again.

  31. deedownunder6:56 am BST

    Good to see you back Sue! And, thanks for the lovely English autumn flowers...I am imagining the scent of that pretty rose.

  32. Hooray, that is what we needed to hear, up and at em as it should be. Another great idea from the kitchen of Sue, a week of store cupboard meals a month would not only cut down on the family budget it would also cut down on hoarding ( which of course I am never guilty of) Wonderful flowers our garden is a green mess.

  33. Och Sue, I'd have been gutted if you'd given up blogging!
    You make me laugh. You make the most awesome puddings. I often don't agree with what you say. (I mean come on Sue..Clare Balding? Urgh the woman drives me mad and I'm sorry I just can't watch her! lol) I also agree with tons you say, and love that you have a laugh with nearly everything.
    It's *your* blog.
    Why don't people understand that?

    Don't ever give up Sue. Laugh at the person who sent you that email. They are indeed very sad to have to be mean to people who love and enjoy their lives, and are lovely enough to share them with us sad folk.

    Take care lovely lady. I don't comment often, but today I wanted you to know how much I appreciate you. xx

  34. Dearest Sue,

    Last time I popped in, your most recent post was Day 14 of the challenge. Imagine my surprise when I read your latest two posts!
    I have a confession... I ABHORE cooking. But my family will insist on being fed, (hubby and four children eat sooooooo much food!), so I keep at it, and crochet my way to happiness instead. Every other blog I read is a crochet one, and that must be how I found you, I don't even remember how long ago.
    Well, the crochet action has been a bit sparse around The Quince Tree lately, but I'll confess something else. I don't keep coming back for the crochet. I love your blog because it's fascinating, inspiring, colourful, witty, realistic, intelligent, clever, and yes, educational too. As long as you continue to blog, I will continue to read, enjoy, occassionally comment, but always appreciate. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life with us.

    Much love from Australia
    Siobhan xx

  35. I'm so glad you're feeling upbeat rather than upset. Thank you for the flowers! :o)

  36. HURRAAHH for Sue,Beautiful flowers too,keep the smashing posts coming,you know we love 'em (and you)!
    As ever Best Wishes
    Sue xxx

  37. I'd missed your upset post Sue, so I'm really happy that you got so much support to make you upbeat again. I can't imagine why anyone would say a thing like that, unless they were jealous or felt inadequate....
    lovely flowers, everything in my garden is looking a bit rain battered right now x

  38. Btw should you need a draft excluder, how about making one and filling with the loathed brown rice?

  39. I always appreciate a gift of flowers, even virtual ones, thanks x

  40. You're welcome.

  41. Good. Glad you are keepin' on.

    But I must say I'm VERY disappointed you gave up with still some brown rice and lentils in the cupboard! Rice and lentil dhal? Come on! ;- )
    Seriously, it was a really good exercise and quite telling; we could all benefit, I think, with maybe having that week of fresh food only and live out of the cupboard/ freezer. I would benefit from going back to writing my weekly meal plans too, a little prep save s so much time and angst later in the week when you are stuck for what to make. A wee trawl through your archives, methinks!

  42. Glad you are back! I enjoy reading your blog, didn't get around to commenting on your last posting but did read it. Its such a shame that people just feel they have the right to "invade" our day and dump on it. I enjoyed reading about the store cupboard challenge and have tried to do a menu for the week as with a big family it does help. Its amazing what gets pushed to the back of the cupboard!!

  43. So glad that you are not lost to us, Sue. I feared that that was the last I would see of your blog.
    Jill x

  44. Your bouquet is so lovely!

    I agree with you that it's always an interesting experiment to take a fresh look at our routines and practices that somehow evolve gradually. Trying to find a new vantage point can be fun. (I admit to then often just carrying on with the vintage routines and practices!)


  45. Anonymous8:06 pm BST

    I'm glad you've been buoyed by all the wonderful comments from your readership, I'm especially glad you're happy to continue your great posts as I only discovered your lovely blog a couple of weeks ago. I read your posts, every one, went right back to the beginning and read every word! I very rarely do that but you have a winning combination of wonderful writing, simple subjects that are often overlooked, great photos, a sense of humour, intelligence and most importantly, I really don't think you take yourself very seriously! It's possible that the bitterness in that one comment was born out of a longing to be able to live more like you do and to have time to take care of people properly, cook lovely meals and just be contented with life. It's true that not many of us can manage that on a daily basis these days but we all should just do what we can and be happy. But the irony of a commenter who doesn't have time for all of those things you do but who does have plenty of time to surf the net and leave snippy comments wasn't lost on me!! Talk about priorities!! I've also been watching some episodes of Vera on tv, and have realised that the original author is the same as the Shetland series of books you reviewed, so I'm now on the look out for some Ann Cleeves books. And I wouldn't have made that connection if I hadn't read your blog.


  46. I'm late in catching up but wanted to add a bit of support. Nasty commentator! (is that a word?). I suggest SHE take up running. Long distance, preferably.

    Have you read any of Lillian Beckwith? Charming, funny, old-fashioned series about an English lady who decamps to a small Hebridean Island. It's my latest obsession. Her first of many books is called The Hills Is Lonely. I think you might like it. xx

  47. Beautiful bouquet of flowers, I'm glad those autumn colours and warmth has helped to cheer you up.

    I suggest you ignore any negative energy around you and focus on all the positivity the readers of your wonderful blog.

    Good luck!

  48. Hello, Sue!
    The last time I read your blog was, exactly the day you posted about the challenge. Some days of hollidays and a lot of things to do kept me far away from the computer.
    The first thing I thought about, was: Really interesting!!!
    If you buy non processed meal, you could save up a lot of money... but then, you need time. It depends if you can organize your live, as well.

    I'm a mum of two (9 and 6), working 8 to 15h (my husband later, more of the days). The School time in my region is 9 to 14'00h (intensive schedule)... when we arrive home, the meal has to be done, only to get warm.

    Because of the crisis, every day in Spain, workers have less money in our pockets. It's necessary to rationalize where to spend the money. At home we ever thought feeding is the most important pillar on which health is based.
    Healthy meals are usually done with fresh vegetables, meats and fish. At the Mediterranean area, we have a plenty of good raw material and recipes........ but, again, they need time.

    And I have no time during the day to cook a healthy and cheap meal.
    What did I do?? first of all, be the freezer's better friend. Another important item: plan all about the meals, buying, cooking... The more planned you are, the more "well spent" time (and money) you have.
    So your Challenge seems me perfect to think about all of that.

    I'm getting mature a contest similar to your challenge. May be in a few days I will post it.
    Thanks for following blogging. Your space is a very nice place.

    Regards from Murcia (Spain).


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