| Savings & Tips
Happy young woman in winter clothes holding shopping bags up with a Christmas tree behind her

‘Tis the season for planning for that season. The holidays mean family, fun, and delicious food, but they can also mean expenses and stress. Getting an early start can save you money and peace of mind!

Instead of turning into a stressed-out Scrooge this holiday season, check out Direct Auto’s guide for creating a holiday shopping plan.

Get a Clue

You, like everyone else, probably have a hard time choosing what to get your relatives, friends, and sweetheart. You spend hours racking your brain for that perfect gift idea, only to come up with…nothing.

If you need gift ideas, check out your loved ones’ social media accounts. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest can help you narrow down their interests. Visit their profiles and take note of their boards, “Likes,” or the brands they follow. The key to the perfect gift might be a few clicks away!

Add to Cart

This one is a no brainer! Online shopping has revolutionized the way we shop. Buying clothes, appliances, furniture, and even car insurance has never been easier. Luckily, many major retailers release online specials right before the holidays. Black Friday deals, anyone?

Take full advantage of pre-holiday sales by comparing prices on hot ticket items such as electronics, appliances, and trending toys. Browsing online can help you find the cheapest prices on the best under-the-tree gifts. Plus, online shopping will also save you from long checkout lines and dangerous mall parking lots.

Why do we say “dangerous?” The National Safety Council estimates 50,000 car accidents occur each year in parking lots and parking garages; however, there are no official statistics because parking lots are considered private property.

Research Discounts

Are you an avid bargain shopper? If so, you already know that a little research can lead to major savings! If you haven’t done so yet, make it a rule of thumb to do an online search for “(store name) coupons” before every shopping trip. If you’re shopping online, search the web for “(store name) promo codes” and apply them before submitting your order. Don’t forget to sign up for your favorite stores’ email newsletters, so you never miss seasonal sales and new markdowns.

For last-minute gifts, keep in mind that you can buy gift cards for less than their face value through sites like Gift Card Granny and CardPool. On these sites, people get rid of their unwanted gift cards for cash, and the site resells them at a discount! And the best part is, the gift card can be the gift, or you can use the discounted gift card to buy the gift. Cool, huh?

Don’t let the savings end there! Put even more money back in your wallet with car insurance discounts from Direct Auto and keep your “sled” protected this holiday season.

Play It Safe

If you do decide to venture out and go shopping at your local mall, make sure your vehicle is good to go! Preventative maintenance can help protect you from unexpected and expensive issues like a dead battery or a flat tire.

Also, lock your doors, take your valuables, and park in a well-lit area. According to Cars.com, Black Friday is the second holiday with the highest number of car break-ins, following Halloween.

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

Once you’ve parked in a well-lit area and locked your car, it’s time to face the mall crowds. Have a pre-planned checklist of stores you need to visit to purchase all your gifts. It will help you navigate the mall and get your shopping done in record time. Plus, if you stick to your shopping list, you will avoid getting sidetracked by extra items, cookie samples, and shops!

Get Jolly With It

You planned, shopped, and wrapped. Now, it’s time to celebrate with an unforgettable holiday party. Exchanging gifts with loved ones is one of the best parts of the holiday season, and you don’t have to break the bank to create a memorable experience! Unleash your holly jolly spirit with these holiday party theme ideas that will make everyone’s night memorable and keep your bank account happy.

The holidays can be the best part of the year, and also the most stressful. But don’t let car situations put a damper on your joy. Get a free car insurance quote online or at your local Direct Auto!

Have any holiday pro-tips of your own? Make sure to share them in the comments section below.