Fort Collins Old Town thrifty picks just in time for holiday shopping


By Angelina Hunter
Special Guest Columnist for North Forty News

A walkable downtown, MAX bus, and beautiful Colorado, first drew me to Fort Collins where, unlike most folks, I don’t own a car.  Lots of young adults and locally-owned businesses that bring color and “juiciness” to a community were also big factors.

Through mentoring young adults, I have found they love bargains (but don’t we all love a bargain?).  So this past year, searching for exceptional values in Old Town, I discovered these “thrifty picks:”

ACE Hardware, 215 South College Avenue, top-rated customer service – a lamp I bought at ACE a year ago broke and they replaced it.  Purchased elsewhere, I’d be out of luck, so that original purchase was a “thrifty pick.”  Free popcorn is fun too.

Austin’s, 100 West Mountain Avenue, great staff and so much to love – after 4p.m. order a baked potato (on a large plate) with small sides of (real) bacon, cheddar cheese, scallions, sour cream, and whipped butter all for $3.95!!! This pick is a great mini-meal with that happy hour cocktail.


Brand Spanking Used, 227 South College Avenue, already low prices – on Wednesdays, Seniors over 60 enjoy half price sales on all but orange-ticketed items.

Choice City Deli & Butcher, 104 West Olive Street – how about a ¼ lb pastrami or corned beef for $3.58 (including tax)!  At home heated in an inch of water, drained, and served on bakery bread, it makes a fine sandwich.

City Drug, 209 North College Avenue, family owned and so much more than a pharmacy – I love the discounted imported jams and candles.  And where else can you buy discounted beer, wine, AND aspirin all in one place?


The Cupboard, 152 South College, superb store for Foodies – but I really love dark chocolate available by the piece.  With friends after dinner, I whip out little clear packets with 2 pieces each of dark chocolate-covered orange peel (75 cents including tax per friend) – what a hit!

Lucile’s, 400 South Meldrum, this restaurant really has it going on – but the real deal is their cup of gumbo over rice, a large bisquit and homemade jam for $5.85 (including tax) – pure heaven!

Paul Wood Florist, 114 North College, gorgeous and exotic flowers and plants for all occasions – think you can’t afford it?  With a Friday $5 bouquet beautify your home beginning this weekend.

Spoons, Soups & Salads, 172 North College Avenue, serving 10 types of soup daily (with samples given) – pick a hearty one, request the kiddie size and a cookie for $3.01 (including tax).


Walrus Ice Cream, 125 West Mountain Avenue, premium homemade ice cream sold by weight – request a mini size scoop which should cost about $3 (by weight) with a chocolate dipped sugar cone and you can still afford to tip a buck!

And I bet there are other “thrifty picks” in Old Town.  I just have to find them.

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