Okay, it’s no secret that #cleaneating got cool. I can’t quite be sure when, but at some point burpees and acai bowls got cooler than pre-mixed alcopops and filthy Macca’s hangover fixes. So cool in fact that the hashtag has been used 39,329,703 times* on Instagram.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for all of it. Sourcing the latest vegan protein, buying by-the-scoop buckinis and trying the latest release health bar (aka brands’ latest version of dates smooshed into a bar shape). I’ve been more than happy to spunk upward of $250 a month someone with impossibly large quads to yell painful exercises at me for 45 minutes multiple times a week, and you bloomin’ well bet I’ll be adding a $1.50 portion of goji berries to my $14 acai bowl because duh.

But how much is this shit costing us? I took stock of my health food and lifestyle obsessions, and was astounded by how much I spend on it. So, as my service to The Broke Generation that we are, I’ve come up with 3 lifestyle swaps that won’t impact your health, but will impact your finances – in a good way!

Blue Dinosaur Bar (or similar)

Ah, smooshed dates. My fave. The thing is with bars like this – I know they all kinda taste the same, but I buy them anyway. All the fucking time. At around $4.50 a pop, they’ll set you back as much as your morning almond capp.

Instead, try these date rolls at $7 for 10 pieces. They’re 90% dates and 10% dessicated coconut – no nasties, no financial foul play. Each tub has 5 servings (of 2 pcs), making each serve $1.40.

Saving = $3.10 per serve

Better still, grab a bag of these Macro pitted dates for $3.39 and a tub of all natural peanut butter for $4.60. For an afternoon snack, slather a good teaspoon of nut butter onto two dates, for a hit of natural sugar and satiating fat and protein. You’ll get about 15 servings from one bag of dates and one tub of PB, making each serve a winning $0.53.

Saving = $3.97 per serve

Kombucha

Remedy, The Bucha Shop, Lo Bros – all tasty gut-loving afternoon pick-me-ups that kinda feel like you’re having a fizzy drink/cheeky cider/fruity cocktail with none of the nasty stuff. But while there’s no harm to our bellies, there’s harm to our wallets with each 330ml bottle setting us back between $3.50 and $5 on average.

I of course looked into making my own, but ain’t nobody got time to wait 30 days for a booch – and if I’m being totally frank I didn’t fancy even thinking about touching a scoby (that’s the little thing in kombucha that looks a bit like when you have a bath on your period. COME ON we’re all thinking it.)

Anyway, instead I did my research on some other gut-friendly concoctions that do us good and don’t taste like shite. I’m by no means saying that this replaces the need for the occasional booch, but if you brew up a big bottle of this and keep it in the fridge, you might save yourself from reaching for your trusty Remedy. TBG proudly presents POVUCHA (povo boocha).

Povucha recipe

Brew a fruit teabag of your choice (one with ginger is good) and let it go cold

Mix with sparkling water

Add a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar (as much as you can personally handle)

Add a good slug of coconut water

Add a squeeze of lemon juice

Savings = A LOT OF CASH MONEH

Cult Fitness Classes

Multiple stations of hellish exercises, cult-like 8 week challenges and meal plans offered quicker than you can say body fat percentage. All this for the reasonable sum of $60 a week. SORRY SIXTY BUCKS A WEEK?

I’m talking here about F45.

When I first tried F45 I loved it. It makes you work harder than you’d ever be able to push yourself in a solo session, and is kinda like a personal training session without the invasive questioning about what you ate that day. And in fairness to the creators of the popular craze, that’s what it’s aimed to replace. A session with a PT would cost between $60-$90, so the theory is ditch your PT and workout as many times as you like at F45.

Makes sense, right?

But what if you never had a PT to begin with, and instead of getting more classes for the same money, you’re actually getting less classes for a lot more money?

When I first tried F45, I was paying $19.95 a week at South Pacific Health Club. That $19.95 got me showers, sauna, steam room, cardio equipment, weights and a timetable stuffed full of group classes of every intensity.

Yet at F45, while the classes were full on and almost guaranteed to get you #shredded, that’s all there is. If you wanted a low intensity pilates session, F45 got nutin’ for ya. I know every studio is different, but my local studios didn’t have showers or change rooms, so I couldn’t realistically squeeze in a class on my way to work, which was kinda a deal breaker for me.

What I have found, though, is a lot of more mainstream gym chains are now offering the same type of workout as the F45 cult as part of their standard membership. I’m now a member of Goodlife gyms, and can have access to tons of classes including interval, station-based ones like F45. I also get a second access card to bring a friend every single Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and can shower and use hair dryers and straighteners if I’m heading out straight from a workout – BOOM.

This costs $18 a week, compared with upward of $60 for F45, and you actually GET MORE!

Saving = $42

Go forth and save, TBG-ers! Have you got a healthy lifestyle hack to save cash on cult obsessions? We want to know!

* Correct at time of publication