Dumpster diving no more

In recent years, CU has been discouraging Dumpster diving at the end of the semester as students prepare to leave for the summer. The CU Environmental Center encourages students to donate their items to the center, which has recycled thousands of pounds of jeans, fans, binders -- you name it.

More info: http://ecenter.colorado.edu/index.php.

I am a thrifaholic.

I'll admit it. I've been scouring Goodwills since before the song.

That's right. An original thriftster.

My mom started thrift shopping a few years ago during a weight-loss journey. She didn't want to buy brand new clothes each time she dropped down to a new size, and I began accompanying her to our local Goodwill in Grand Island, Neb.

Then, I got my first apartment in college, and while everyone else was piecing together their Ikea furniture, my roommate and I were buying vintage yellow arm chairs and funky nightstands to fill out our cozy-but-crappy two-bedroom apartment.

Here in Boulder, I've unearthed a whole new set of treasures to fill out my place -- pretty much all of my furniture, minus a few pieces here and there, are thrift-shop finds.

A few of my favorite places:

 

Goodwill

2486 Baseline Road, Boulder; http://goodwilldenver.org/pages/boulder

Goodwill Boulder is a decent place just off campus for finding furniture, clothes, Christmas decorations, you name it.

All Goodwill stores in the Denver area have a new loyalty program called Club Blue. It works like the reward card at your grocery store: they send you a gift card on your birthday and you get $10 for every $250 you spend.

Nici Davis shows off her new boots at Rags in Boulder.
Nici Davis shows off her new boots at Rags in Boulder. ( JESSICA CUNEO )

Almost every other Saturday, Denver-area Goodwill stores have a 50 percent off day.

 

Buffalo Exchange

1813 Pearl St., Boulder; http://buffaloexchange.com/

Buffalo Exchange prides itself on buying used and "vintage" clothes and reselling them. It's a decent place to find brand names for cheap, though sometimes this store can be overpriced, and they're very particular about what types of clothes they'll buy.

Still, Buffalo Exchange is a good place to find fashionable and vintage clothes for cheap, and you won't have to dig or scour the store for the cute stuff.

 

ARES Thrift Store

2536A Spruce St., Boulder; http://boulderthriftstore.com/

ARES Thrift always tempts me to stop in with its daily deals, which range from a student/faculty discount on Sundays to happy hour deals on Thursdays and Fridays. You definitely have to dig at ARES, but this shop is a legitimate thrift shop.

Plus, ARES supports Boulder and Boulder County organizations like Boulder County SafeHouse, the Mental Health Center and the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, so you can feel good about your shopping benefiting the community.

 

Rags

3129 28th St., Boulder; http://iloverags.com/

Rags, a consignment shop, has a solid selection of trendy and professional clothing.

For the truly thrifty, it's a bit overpriced and not what you'd consider a traditional thrift shop, but their consignment model is unique. You bring clothes in and receive 40 percent after the items sell. If they don't sell, you can pick them back up and try again later.

 

Boulder Humane Society Thrift Shop

5320 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder; http://boulderhumane.org/shop/thrift-shop

Because who doesn't want to support the cute pups and kitties of Boulder? This shop also lists their items on Craigslist and eBay, so you can scope out the deals before you head over. You can also volunteer to work at the shop.

 

Front Range Mercantile Indoor Flea Market

1201 S. Sunset St., Longmont

If you're willing to make the trek to Longmont, this flea market is worth it. Here you'll find antiques at a reasonable price, plus really friendly employees who understand great customer service. People claim to be "addicted" to this flea market because of its hidden treasures. It doesn't even have a website, which gives the shop a secret vibe.

 

 

--Follow Sarah Kuta on Twitter: @SarahKuta.