How to keep the cost of being single down

So you’ve managed to survive Valentine’s Day, narrowly escaping cupid’s arrow and bypassing all the cute teddies and chocolates.

But even though you’ve got through the most romantic day of the year on your tod, it still seems the majority of things (and best deals) are aimed towards couples.

So how do you get the best deals if you’re single?

Take the plethora of 2for1 restaurant deals, 2for1 theme park and attraction tickets, not to mention all the BOGOF deals down the local supermarket (there’s only so much ice-cream a gal can get away with).

True, you can go with a friend, but if you just fancy asserting your independence and going it alone, here are my top tips for fun, yet affordable activities.


No, I’m not telling you to brave the cinema on a Friday night to sit among the teenage sweethearts. After a long week at work, sometimes you just want to stay in and not budge from the sofa.

And despite having a Sky, Virgin or Freeview box, sometimes it feels like there’s nothing worth watching.

If you’ve got a laptop and internet access, you’re half way there.

BBC iPlayer is a nifty website which allows you to watch many films, documentaries and popular series for free. Plus, you can pause the programme to make a brew and watch the next episode of a series straightaway rather than waiting a whole week.


Retail therapy can work wonders, especially when you’re on your own. There’s no one to rush you, no-one telling you that you look fabulous in that dress when you ask the $64 million dollar question of ‘does my bum look big in this?’ and you’re not being dragged around shops you have absolutely no interest in.

But even better than this, is grabbing yourself a bargain. By signing up to retailers’ newsletters, you’re often rewarded with money off your first shop.

Plus check out MSE’s High Street Sales and Discount Vouchers page to see if you can save while you shop. Getting those £50+ Gap jeans for £30 is a sweeter deal than those heart-shaped bonbons!


Whatever part of the country you’re in, why not take a stroll through history and acquaint yourself with art and science by visiting one of the many free UK museums?

I love getting lost in Tate Modern, snaking my way through the garish art of the 1900s to the more outlandish sculptures of the 21st century. And OK, I admit, I leave feeling a sense of intellectual smugness.

Check out the Free Museums & Galleries page to find your nearest free venue when you’ve a quiet weekend planned.

Books and reading

Immersing yourself in literature needn’t cost the earth. If you’re lucky enough to have a Kindle, you’ve opened yourself up to a world of free novels, whether you’re into classics such as Wuthering Heights or fancy checking out new works from up-and-coming authors.

Most weekends I surf Amazon’s free Kindle books before settling down in a comfy chair in Costa with a nice warm latte.

No Kindle? Charity shops are inundated with books from every genre and author and I have to say, buying Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden was the best 50p I’ve spent in a while. It saved me from boredom as I was gripped by the effects of swine flu back in 2009.

Exercise and gyms

It’s a love-hate relationship for me (more love in summer, hate in the cold, wintry nights) but a little bit of exercise increases those endorphin levels.

I’m blessed living five minutes from a forest whether for dirt biking or a long leisurely stroll on a Sunday, but there are also many cycling and walking routes up and down the country to take advantage of.

Otherwise, if you’re not the outdoorsy-type, see MSE’s Cheap Gyms Guide for loads of tips to blag yourself a free pass for up to 10 days, with no obligation to take out an expensive and lengthy contract.

Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list of things to do when you’re by yourself; there’s plenty out there to keep you occupied. But rather than list all the possibilities, get out there and see for yourself.

You can give your tips and feedback in the comments section below or in the MSE forum.