Eating healthy on a tight budget can be challenging.

Many nutrient-dense foods are quite expensive, which is why some people opt for cheap junk foods instead.

However, there are plenty of affordable foods you can purchase that are healthy and easy to add to your diet.

This article takes a look at 6 cheap, nutritious foods and their health benefits:

Plan Your Meals

When it comes to saving money at the grocery store, planning is essential.

Use one day each week to plan your meals for the upcoming week. Then, make a grocery list of what you need.

Also, make sure to scan your fridge and cabinets to see what you already have. There are usually a lot of foods hidden in the back that can be used.

Cook at Home

Cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out.

Make it a habit to cook at home, rather than eating out at the last minute.

Generally, you can feed an entire family of 4 for the same price as buying food for one or two people at a restaurant.

Some people find it best to cook for the entire week on the weekends, while others cook one meal at a time.

By cooking yourself, you also gain the benefit of knowing exactly what is in your food.

Cook Large Portions and Use Your Leftovers

Cooking large meals can save you both time and money.

Leftovers can be used for lunches, in other recipes or frozen in single-portion sizes to be enjoyed later on.

Leftovers usually make very good stews, stir-fries, salads and burritos. These types of food are especially great for people on a budget.

Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry

If you go to the grocery store hungry, you are more likely to stray from your grocery list and buy something on impulse.When you’re hungry, you often crave foods that aren’t good for you or your budget.

Try to grab a piece of fruit, yogurt or other healthy snack before you go to the store.

Buy Whole Foods

Some foods are way cheaper in less processed form.

For example, a block of cheese is cheaper than shredded cheese and canned beans are cheaper than refried ones.

Whole grains, like brown rice and oats, are also cheaper per serving than most processed cereals.

Healthy lifestyle concept. Eat fruits and vegetables and workout

The less processed foods are also often sold in larger quantities, and yield more servings per package.

Stop Buying Junk Food

Cut out some of the junk food from your diet.

You would be surprised to see how much you may be paying for soda, crackers, cookies, prepackaged meals and processed foods.

Despite the fact that they offer very little nutrition and are packed with unhealthy ingredients, they are also very expensive.

By skipping the processed and unhealthy foods, you can spend more of your budget on higher quality, healthy foods.