Watch a few minutes of television or page through a magazine and it seems the whole world is geared toward the wealthy. Whether it’s $150 T-shirts in magazine spreads or that silly commercial around the holidays that implies there are more than a few of us waking up on Christmas morning with a new, red-ribbon-donning car parked in the driveway, I’m often left wondering, who are the people they’re speaking to?

Watch a few minutes of television or page through a magazine and it seems the whole world is geared toward the wealthy. Whether it’s $150 T-shirts in magazine spreads or that silly commercial around the holidays that implies there are more than a few of us waking up on Christmas morning with a new, red-ribbon-donning car parked in the driveway, I’m often left wondering, who are the people they’re speaking to?


The fact is that many of us are trying to slow our spending, stick to a budget and grow our savings. Many of us are not buying new cars for gifts or spending a week’s grocery money on a T-shirt. But even though we’re not spending as much, we are still consumers. We still deserve to be catered to, sought after and assisted by advertisers and consumer services, just like our big spender counterparts. Luckily, there’s some great assistance for us thrifty folk out there, helping to guide us along our frugal way.


Cheapism: Not all of us can afford to purchase the most expensive or top brand products. Operating under the assumption that there are quality choices at lower price points that will allow folks to stay within a set budget, www.cheapism.com offers quality reviews on products across the board and continues to offer newly researched categories everyday. “Cheapism enables families to shop for low priced products while maintaining quality and getting the best value for their money,” says CEO and co-founder Max Levitte. “Families that can’t afford to spend much on various baby, house and home or electronics products can find thoroughly researched recommendations on our site for the best inexpensive products in the categories they’re looking for.”


Common sense with money: Initially born from the desire to stay home with her young children and live within the means of one income, the mom behind the useful blog www.commonsensewithmoney.com offers a compilation of coupon finds and free deals, combined with frugal living tips so families can start saving money right away. “I provide my readers with store sales and coupon match ups to help them maximize their savings and minimize what they spend at the stores they shop on a regular basis,” says owner Mercedes Levy. “Common Sense with Money shares with you everyday items that are free after coupon, free samples, free coupons and bargain finds at many stores around the United States.”


Bookoo: At a time when many of us are drowning in too much stuff, there are easier ways to rid ourselves of gently used items. The online yard sale system at www.bookoo.com allows users to list items for sale or items needed on its pages. Think eBay or Craig’s List located in your own town. The site also allows for online postings of actual yard sales to generate traffic in your neck of the woods. Run in nearly every state, this free service gets sellers and buyers connected while minimizing the hassles associated with auctions and shipping charges. Bookoo even posts local lost and found information and carpooling requests.


Molly Logan Anderson is a freelance writer who lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Mike, three kids and a black lab. Join Molly and her family on their journey of living a frugal life and making financial freedom their reality.


This column represents the views of the writer and not necessarily those of the newspaper.