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Shopping & Saving

Realistic budgeting is the key to maintaining a financial safety net and spending wisely. Whether you’re shopping for things you buy routinely — or saving for that occasional big ticket item — planning is key. These shopping tips can help you save money on everyday purchases, as well as on some products and services you buy once in a while.

Buying, Leasing, or Renting

Renting a Car

Compare the total cost, not just the advertised rate, when shopping. Fees and options can increase the base price dramatically.

Warranties & Service Contracts

Extended Warranties and Service Contracts

Before you buy an extended warranty or service contract, compare it to the warranty that came with the product. Will buying the coverage add extra benefits?


A warranty is a manufacturer's promise to stand behind its product. Read the warranty to see what is and isn’t covered, and what to do in case of problems

Saving Money

How To Avoid a Scam

Recognizing these common signs of a scam could help you avoid falling for one.

Shopping Tips

Buying Alaska Native Art

If you want genuine to buy Alaska Native-made arts and crafts, learn about the materials, appearance, and price of authentic items.

Buying From an Online Marketplace

Online marketplaces sell goods from local groups and national companies. Before you buy, learn about refunds, returns, and how to get help in case of problems.

Gemstones, Diamonds, and Pearls

Before you buy, know that gemstones, diamonds, and pearls may be natural, manufactured, or treated to change their appearance.

Getting In and Out of Free Trials, Auto-Renewals, and Negative Option Subscriptions

Offers for subscriptions and free trials can cost you more that you bargained for if you’re not careful.

How To Evaluate Online Reviews

Learn how to think about and use online reviews when you shop online.

How To Spot, Avoid, and Report Fake Check Scams

Fake checks come in many forms, like business checks, money orders, even electronic checks. Here’s what to know about fake check scams.

Online Shopping

Before you buy online, comparison shop and check sellers and products. Keep records of purchases to make sure you can hold a seller to its promises

Platinum, Gold, and Silver Jewelry

Before you shop, learn about the words and symbols jewelers use to describe the quality and purity of the platinum, gold, and silver jewelry.

Rent-to-Own, Lease-to-Own, Layaway, and Buying Over Time

When you shop for new appliances, furniture, or expensive electronics, a seller might offer different ways to pay over time. Here’s what you need to know.

Using a Shopping App

Shopping apps may help you get deals or earn rewards, but they also ask for personal information and collect information about you and your shopping behavior.

Shopping Green

Eco-Friendly and Green Marketing Claims

Here’s what you need to know when you shop about common green claims that appear on products and packages.

Solar Power for Your Home

Learn about different ways to get solar power to use at home.

‘Bamboo’ Fabrics

Although bamboo is used in eco-friendly products, it’s processed with toxic chemicals when used to make rayon and other fabrics.

Specific Products and Services

Avoid Scams When You Travel

Before you start your travel plans, learn common tactics scammers use that can ruin your entire trip.

Before You Wire Money

Scammers pressure you to wire money to them because it’s easy to take your money and disappear.

Buying American Indian Arts and Crafts

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether arts and crafts are genuine or are imitations. Learning about American Indian arts and crafts can help you make sure to buy quality, authentic pieces.

Hiring a Lawyer

Take time to find a lawyer with relevant experience in the legal area you need. Find out about experience, fees, and possible outcomes. Get agreements in writing.

Shopping for Funeral Services

Planning a funeral is an emotional experience. These practical tips can help.