We all want to feel healthy and happy in our own home. Which is where having enough of the more everyday groceries we use for cooking, cleaning and washing, helps keep life ticking over smoothly. From planning menus to enjoying a relaxing bath every evening – there’s plenty to think about when it comes to what you buy, how much and when. And if you don’t want to lug heavy bags back from the supermarket, Oakhouse can help. We’ll ensure your freezer is always stocked up with delicious meals and desserts, and take care of the grocery side of things too. Our range of over 350 products includes trusted brands such as Kellogg’s, McVitie’s, Heinz, Kleenex and Dove, as well fresh staples like milk, eggs and bread. Ordering is simple too – over the phone, online, or with your delivery driver. We’ve also recently launched a new Grocery Easy Order Pack. Featuring a selection of popular essentials, household products and toiletries, you’ll have all you need for the week in one convenient delivery. In the meantime, we’ve put together some useful tips on storing and using groceries. Mix and match Stock up on versatile ingredients that pair up with other foods. Dried herbs, salt, pepper and beef and vegetable stock cubes create all kinds of sauces and gravies. While olive and vegetable oils, tinned tomatoes, dried pasta, rice, tinned meats and fish, along with seasoning condiments such as Worcestershire Sauce, go into many savoury dishes. Keep fresh and frozen staples to hand Simple toast and jam. Mouth-watering cheese toasties. Fresh bread probably comes top in terms of versatility. But getting through a whole loaf before it goes off can be a challenge, especially if you live on your own. That’s why being able to store pre-sliced bread for between three and six months in the freezer is so useful – as you only need to take as much as you want each time. Bored of the same old things to put into sandwiches or baked potatoes? Ready-made fillings such as Coronation Chicken, that can be kept chilled for up to a week, turns an ordinary meal into something satisfyingly different. Dairy-wise, along with your favourite butter or spread, keep a hard cheese such as Cheddar in the fridge. And for a nutritious dessert or breakfast cereal topping – have a pack of fruit yogurts on standby. Plan ahead Most days you won’t want the hassle of cooking – but for special occasions when you fancy whipping up something from scratch, such as a cake, buns or flapjacks, it’s worth having basic baking ingredients stored in your cupboard and fridge. All sorts of recipes call for eggs, self-raising flour, oats, sugar, golden syrup, butter, sunflower oil, bicarbonate of soda and plain chocolate. A place for everything When you’re busy preparing food, consistently grouping similar products makes sense, as you’ll always know where everything is. Snack items such as crackers, crisps and biscuits sit together, while canned products, condiments, oils and sauces could form another group. Also, once you’ve shopped with us, you can save your list for future orders. Store safely… When it concerns how long to keep things, first check the packaging for advice. Foods must be eaten (and most frozen) up to, but not after, the ‘USE BY’ date. Whereas the ‘BEST BEFORE’ date refers to the quality and taste – in that the food is safe to eat after this time, but possibly not at its best for flavour and texture. Healthcare items, such as medicines and ointments, should also be disposed of after their ‘use by’ date, as they’ll probably become ineffective. Perishables such as meat and dairy should go near the bottom of the fridge which is colder. And to prevent any metallic taste seeping into the food, transfer the contents of tins to a non-metal bowl. Then cover with a lid or cling film and store for no longer than three to four days in the fridge. Put opened packs of flour, pasta, rice, all dried fruit and nuts into clean, airtight containers – nuts especially, go stale quickly in a humid atmosphere. Oils and vinegars are best stored in a cool, dark cupboard, as any heat or light source can affect the colour and make them go rancid. Of course, as well as following basic hygiene and storage rules, trust your own senses of sight, smell and taste as to whether something is still okay. If you’d like to talk to someone in person about buying and storing groceries, we’d be happy to chat on 0333 370 6700.