Eating healthily isn't always our top priority when we're feeling the pinch.

But filling up on cheap unhealthy food isn't the way forward, and piling on the pounds round your waist certainly won't make you feel better.

The fact is, with a little bit of forethought, it's totally possible to pack your meals full of nutritious foods without breaking the bank.  Head on over to your local SPAR to pick up the following ingredients.

Check out my top picks and tips to trim your waistline, while keeping your wallet nice and fat...

1. Go frozen

Buy frozen fruit & vegetables. Usually picked and packed at source, retaining much more vitamins and minerals than fresh.  Taste amazing in morning oats or in a super quick breakfast smoothie. Fill up your plate with a delicious variety of vegetables available in store frozen aisles.  A sneaky way to also disguise fruit and veggies for fussy kids is in smoothies and milkshakes.

2. Eggs

They are a great source of protein, and cost around just 15p per egg. Eggs are so versatile, scrambled, poached or boiled and omelettes are a great at any mealtime.  Bulk out your omelettes with extra veggies to hit that magic 5 a day number.

3. Chicken

Chicken, its cheap, high in protein and low in fat. Can be eaten hot or cold and packed into a lunch box or added to any mealtime.  There is  no limit to the amount of amazing recipes that can be created for you and your family around this popular source of protein.

4. Avocado

A great source of healthy fats, they are now available frozen at major supermarkets.

5. Oats

Top quality carbohydrate and full of fibre. Buy loose and in bulk and you'll save money.  It is a premium grade carbohydrate, used in porridge or cooked into no bake bars ideal for snacks.! Eaten hot or cold, can be mixed into smoothies for that energy boost.

6. Brown rice

A staple high fibre carbohydrate, buy in bulk, as it’s cheaper per gram.  Can be cooked in advance and stored in fridge to use for days afterwards.  Can be mixed with other proteins like chicken and nutritious veggies to provide that perfect combination of healthy macronutrients.

7. Buy big

Don’t buy in small packages. Buy large and then divide into smaller portions for storage and use.  Buy larger packages in store to get value for your money!  Cook in bulk too which saves time and cooking in advance means that you'll make better meal choices when in a hurry and super hungry.

8. Grow

Grow your own herbs. Homegrown is best. They're cheap to buy and if you take snips of what you need as and when, it ends up costing just pennies.

9. Get cooking

Cook yourself. You can control ingredients, calories and portion size compared to high price fast food joints or other restaurants.  Check out all my delicious food prep videos and delicious easy to cook recipes on our website https://www.spar-ni.co.uk/tara-grimes