Boulder has a reputation of being an expensive place to live, but it doesn’t have to be a pricey place to play, thanks to an online resource culling many of the deals to be had between here and Denver.

I first heard about Mile High on the Cheap right before Christmas when a co-worker squealed when she saw a local deal on Boulder-based Chocolove chocolate bars.

Sugary sweets on sale? It was as if MHOTC stared into my soul! The locally lauded website is now an online resource I check out at least weekly. Visit to check it out for yourself. You can also receive info via their daily email, Facebook and Twitter.

MHOTC is run by partners Claire Walter and Laura Daily who have the Front Range covered for freebies, discounts and deals on live entertainment, clearance sales, free pet adoption days, outdoorsy events, health fairs, and more. They even have tabs on the MHOTC website for categories such as cheap gas, kids eat free, garage sales — great for college students looking to score apartment furnishings, coupons and free Wi-Fi. And who doesn’t love at least one of those things?

Walter is a seasoned writer based in Boulder and a sale-seeker with one eye always on the lookout for a great value. The website launched in February 2009; on their first day, MHOTC had 48 visitors. Now, MHOTC has more than 5,200 subscribers who receive a daily digest of the previous 24 hours’ deals, plus up to 3,000 other visitors. The website aims to be a community service of sorts to help everyone — regardless of age or family status — stretch their dollars a little bit further, Walter said.

“We want to cover all the constituents,” Walter said, listing families, college students, young professionals, baby boomers and senior citizens. “We feel like if there is anything that can be interpreted as a good value, we will list it. Because even if an offer or sale might not be right for you, it might be right for someone you know. Like a free blood pressure check for your dad or a twins clothing sale for a neighbor.”

And if Groupon, LivingSocial, CrowdSavings, et al., overwhelm you (or your inbox — I, myself, feel like I need to fight back with the unsubscribe button), MHOTC has a great page listing all the various online coupon deals for you on their popular “Daily Deals” page, which is neatly organized and informative.

Or if you know of a great deal that they don’t (or perhaps something isn’t such a hot score after all), MHOTC welcomes feedback, input, tips and notices, Walter said. (In the spring, they posted a tip I had sent them about a tax help program for low-income folks, for example.)

While they can’t determine if web traffic actually heads out to partake in those deals, Walter said that they can get to know the interests of a community by the number of clicks a posted deal can get.

Not surprisingly, the Boulder-based deals with high interest are geared towards the outdoors and sports, such as specials on ski equipment and free family snowshoe hikes. Personally, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for Chocolove bars again.

Fingers crossed!

Share your frugal living tips with @melsidwell on Twitter. What’s the best deal in Boulder this summer?

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