BAKE A CAKE By Domenico del Priore, owner of Cookie café, Glasgow Forget Mr Kipling, it is possible to make a fantastic cake for tea with friends from pretty much what you have in the house. Finish that jam and make a Victoria sponge. For a chocolate and orange cake all you need is half a jar of marmalade and some cocoa powder. Why not polenta and lemon? Or raisins and one parsnip makes a war-time special. View Domenico’s chocolate and orange cake recipe at

TAKE A TREASURE HUNT If you think you’ve seen it all in your city, put your knowledge to the test with a Huntfun treasure hunt. For £4.99, families or groups of friends can equip themselves with a booklet of questions, maps and clues, then set off around Glasgow or Edinburgh on an expedition. Hunts can be purchased online or bought from selected shops, and how long they take is up to you. Dive through it in two hours, or break it up with pit stops at eateries along the way. (Kelly Apter)

BAG A CHEAP THEATRE SEAT As part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Reveal season at the Traverse, patrons can enjoy some new writing for next to nothing. A double bill of short works in progress, Love Letters to the Public Transport System by Molly Taylor and Count Me In by Gary McNair, take place in Traverse 2 from Wed 2 to Sat 5 Mar.

The Traverse also regularly stages rehearsed readings of new plays with audiences paying what they can. Next up is Martin Travers’ Roman Bridge, Fri 18 & Sat 19 Mar, 8.30pm. www

At the Royal Lyceum the List-sponsored First Look Friday takes place on the first Friday of the run with all tickets a snip at £5. The next FLF show is a preview of Stellar Quines’ The Age of Arousal on Fri 18 Feb at 7.45pm. Tickets from (Allan Radcliffe)

GET FIT FOR FREE Get fit while making a contribution. Join a conservation project and help with cleaning beaches, clearing overgrown beauty spots, planting trees and building walls all while burning off that figgy pudding. Glasgow residents can join the National Trust for Scotland Glasgow Group Conservation Volunteers, for a small membership fee, with the bonus of free entry to all National Trust places of interest in Scotland ( In the east, the Edinburgh University society The Dirty Weekenders meet for projects at 10am on Sundays outside the Pleasance Sport Centre and at the Auld Hoose pub at 10pm Thursdays. (Barbara Adams)

SEE THE TRON STRIP OFF Launched last year, Tron Stripped is an initiative to showcase original productions that are ‘stripped back’ to their bare essentials. There’s no compromise on quality, though: the next offering is a revival of Charles Dyer’s comedy

Staircase, a bittersweet comedy about two men who have been running a hairdresser’s shop for 20 years, starring Benny Young and the theatre’s artistic director Andy Arnold. Ticket prices start at a mere £7. (Allan Radcliffe)

VOLUNTEER AT THE GFT By Ellie Harrison, artist and founder of the Bring Back British Rail campaign

Recently, I began working as a volunteer at the Glasgow Film Theatre. I’ve joined the large team of cinema lovers who work one night a week as ushers in return for as many free films as they can fathom. Not only is it a lovely place to work and a way of supporting one of Glasgow’s great not-for-profit cultural institutions, but it also just about means I can entertain myself (and one guest per week) for free, whenever I happen to have some free time.

Beat the January blues with these guaranteed pick-me-ups, suggested by our writers and some friends of The List. They’re all free, or cost just a few quid, so you’ll come out of winter with your bank balance intact and a smile on your face