Boulder is least frugal city in the United States (or locals are too cool to clip coupons)

Categories: Business, News

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When many people are asked for first impressions about Boulder, they think of weed, beautiful scenery, weed, a healthy lifestyle, weed, CU and weed, in that order. But frugality? Not so much -- and that's appropriate according to, which specializes in printable coupons and online shopping. When judging all U.S. cities with populations of 100,000 or more based on coupon usage, Boulder finished dead last.

Linda Muniz,'s senior vice president, was especially surprised by the results, based on data from January 1 to July 31 of this year. After all, the service is based in Denver, just down the road from Boulder. "We've been a Colorado business for 25 years and we have 37 million customers right now," she points out. "But even though we're very well known nationally, we're not that well known in Colorado. We need to get the word out."

Hence, the time-tested list formula. Here's the roster of the most frugal cities by's measurement:

10. San Antonio, TX
9. New York, NY
8. Phoenix, AZ
7. Dallas, TX
6. Miami, FL
5. Philadelphia, PA
4. Atlanta, GA
3. Los Angeles, CA
2. Chicago, IL
1. Houston, TX

And the least:

10. Kansas City, KS
9. New Haven, CT
8. Billings, MT
7. Pasadena, TX
6.Cambridge, MA
5. Berkeley, CA
4. Burbank, CA
3. Provo, UT
2. Santa Clara, CA
1. Boulder, CO

Muniz says saw some general regional themes in terms of coupons. For instance, people in the South tend to use them more often than do their northern counterparts, and suburbanites top those in urban locations. However, she stresses that the trend, celebrated by the TLC show Extreme Couponing, is growing everywhere. "We've seen a huge uptick in printable coupons and online savings over the last three years, which makes sense based on the economic condition of the country," she maintains. "Who doesn't want to save money?"

Well, maybe people in a certain Colorado city. Muniz laughs as she says, "I don't know if we can convert Boulder..."

More from our News archive: "CU named Playboy's top party school of 2011: Thank you, reefer madness! (PHOTO)."

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Ian Williams
Ian Williams

Cheap is cheap. In and out. I wish I could buy a sprinkler that works...but unfortunately, all they have is the cheap one, on sale, with 10% off loyalty coupon. 

Great deal! 

Too bad my lawn is dead now because I can't afford to buy a new cheap one every month after the last one failed.--Maybe people pay more in Boulder because they know the money is going to a community oriented, owned & operated business rather than a profit-centric one. 

Maybe it's because they know the extra dollar is going to pay the employees that look happy, well fed, and rested, with benefits and a zeal for doing their job, not because they are being paid, but because they have a passion for the industry or product, or simply prefer to help those around them live better. Maybe, just maybe, the reason boulder spends a lot of money is correlated to it being on almost every "Best City To Live In" lists. Maybe our disposable, discount culture is just that...a cheap marketing trick to promote more consumption of sub-par products manufactured under a guise of fair-trade while fueling a slave economy in a distant, dissimilar culture starving itself to ensure profit margins. 

Maybe saving money is sometimes a bad thing...Nah...This is the United State of What Do I Get? must be better, right?  Cheap means more for me. Me is most important, more is better. Right?

This is better, right?


Paying a discounted rate for something that you would never normally purchase doesn't make any sense, which is why I almost never use those coupons. Perhaps Boulder's status as one of the smartest cities means that we're better able to figure that out than the average joe. Just sayin'.

Sarah E. Welch
Sarah E. Welch

I live in Boulder. I rarely buy national brands, because there are so many local options. So, coupons are rarely that helpful to me. And? I'm a total cheapskate, so I would be using them if they were available :)


This past week the TLC network premiered a new series called Extreme Couponing. It has drawn a great deal of controversy across the internet. one smart source for coupon is "Printapon" check it out


Retarded survey. Most of the cities on the top 10 are suburban hell-holes with plenty of strip malls to redeem these national coupons, whereas boulder is full of over-priced niche stores. 


Boulder is also home to some of the biggest douchebags this side of the Mississippi.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Very interesting post, Ian. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

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