Boulder, Colorado is an expensive place to live, but there are some ways to save money

Live outside of BoulderEdit

There are many close towns to live in outside of the city of Boulder. Boulder sales tax is close to 10%, prices of goods are high, and so is rent. The taxes pay for all the great things in Boulder, but is adds up.

Close towns (map)

    • Longmont
    • Lafayette
    • Eldorado Springs
    • Louisville
    • Niwot
    • Gunbarrel


Rent is expensive in Boulder. The only way to save money on that is to find a roommate. With a roommate, if you look hard you can get your rent down to $300.

Living alone is quite expensive. There are a few places that are cheaper. Cavalier Apartments as of 2008 is $550 a month (6-12 month lease) for a small studio. There are downfalls to these Apts, so you should read some reviews, but its not too bad.


Biking is by far the cheapest way to get around town. You can get anywhere in about 30m. Buses are pretty cheap. Cars are as expensive as they are anywhere else.

  • Biking: Boulder is great for bikers. The are many trails that cross the city, and most roads have bike lanes. In some cases biking is faster than driving.
    • CU students can rent bikes for free. Two day rentals. (Students)

Map of the bus all bus route within Boulder, Colorado

  • Buses: Buses in the Boulder, Denver, and surrounding areas are some of the best in the nation. They are always on time, and can get you anywhere in town. The Hop, Skip, Dash, Bolt, and Jump are the main bus routes in Boulder. ($2.25) They take you all around town, and come every 15m or so. The B, and BX will take you to Denver($4.50), and the AB will take you to the airport($13). If you calculate it out, it is much cheaper than cars.
    • Main bus page: RTD
      • Bus routes map for Boulder
      • All bus routes
      • Trip planner: There is a great resource on their website where you can enter where you want to go, and it will tell you what buses you need. On the main page, click Trip planner
        note: If it shows you many transfers, check to see if one or more of the transfers are only a block or two. Then you can just walk between the stops and get there quicker.
  • Buses are free for students (Students)
  • Cars: If you need to have a car, parking is mostly free. If you are going downtown, park two or three blocks north or Pearl, and there are no parking meters.
    • Occasion need for a car: If you only need a car occasionally and can't barrow one, you can try Boulder CarShare
      • Costs
        • One time fees: application: $ 25; joining: $ 90
        • Monthly fees: $ 10
        • Usage fees: $ 0.50 / mile, plus $ 1.00 / hour
    • One time use: If you only need a car for one day you can rent a truck at Home Depot
      • For details you need to goto the store


Not eating out is the best way to save money. The second is buying in bulk. There are a number of international stores where you can get some of the things you need.

Grocery storesEdit

  • Asian Seafood Market (map) - despite the name it is mostly dried and caned food. This is probably the best place to get cheap food.
    2833 28th St
    Boulder, CO 80301
  • Shree Emporium (Indian) (map) - This is a small grocery store, but cheap and is worth checking out.
    623 S Broadway St, Boulder, CO
    (303) 494-0220

Less expensive restaurantsEdit


  • CiCi's pizza: Cheap all you can eat pizza.
    • $5 for students, cash only (Students)

General goodsEdit

There are a number of thrift stores in Boulder. They are more expensive than most thrift stores, but much less expensive than regular stores

You can get clothes, dishes, furniture

    5320 Arapahoe Ave
    Boulder, CO 80303
    2536 Spruce St
    Boulder, CO 80302
  • SAVERS (near Table Mesa & Broadway) (map)
    695 S Broadway St
    Boulder, CO 80305
    1701 33rd St
    Boulder, CO 80301

Resources for finding free stuffEdit

  • Freecycle - this is a web-based mailing list for requesting and offering goods of any type. You would be surprised what a great resource this is. Remember that giving is what makes Freecycle work, not just getting.
    Boulder Freecycle
  • Craigslist - free stuff (website)
    • Smaller list than Freecycle, but another resource. Postings no requests.
  • Dumpster diving or trash picking
    Ironically, Boulder is one of the most wasteful places when it comes to trash. This is mostly due to the college kids, but not completely. One good thing is that most people put useful things on the side of trashcans instead of burying it under yucky stuff. The best time to find things are when school lets out in the fall and spring. The most common things to find in the trash are vacuum cleaners, trashcans, and cleaning supplies. You would be astonished at all the waste.

Specific productsEdit

  • Cleaning, automotive, hobby, pet, paints, stains & varnishes, garden, woodworking supplies, wood sealants, etc.
    Are available at Boulder Household Hazardous Waste (HHW), because they put to the side reusable items.
    For details see: Boulder Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)


There are a few ways to save some money on medical issues.

  • Medical Care:
    • The Peoples Clinic: this is a hospital for the uninsured. It provides basic care for the uninsured. Primary and preventative care is what we do, and we also provide care for chronic illnesses when needed. We are here when our patients need us for physicals, immunizations, or any of our other quality services. Care for newborns, children, teens, adults and seniors.
  • Medical Bills:
    • Boulder Community Hospital: If you are uninsured, and pay you bills at the hospital, at time of service, you can save 40%. If you pay within 30 days at the hospital, you save 30%. Check to see if this policy is still in effect before you expect a visit. This policy is in effect as of 4/2008 (Uninsured)
      For details: Call Customer Service at 303-544-5744 weekdays (except Thursdays) from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. On Thursdays, Customer Service is available from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Walk-in office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Insurance: If normal insurance won't cover you, Colorado has a government funded program, called Cover Colorado. This requires you to apply for Medicare A & B program
    Visit their website for details:
  • Prescription Medicines: all drug companies have 'Prescription Assistance' programs for free prescription medicine if you do not have insurance or drug coverage, and you have a low income. The details vary between companies. You must qualify, but if you honesty can't afford medicine you shouldn't be turned down. (Uninsured)
    Visit: or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW (1-888-477-2669)
    Medicare also have a drug plan, but its not free


In Boulder there are lots of sources of free entertainment.

  • Music:
  • Movies, documentaries, video:
  • Lectures:
  • Festivals
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