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Car Tech

Get a magnetic phone mount for $7.99

Simple and effective, these come in two varieties: air-vent and dashboard. Great gifts! Plus: a discount on gift cards from a very unlikely source.

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f-color-suction-cup-dashboard-mount

This one mounts to your dashboard...

F-color

It's time once again for me to preach the Gospel of Car Safety, which starts when you mount your phone up on the dash instead of leaving it in your lap, a cupholder or the seat beside you.

See, when you go to read a text message or choose a new playlist, you're taking your eyes way off the road -- which is really dangerous for you and the tree you're about to pile into (or, worse, the oncoming car).

I'm not making light of this. I'm saying we all use our phones while driving, which is insane, and we can all stand to be a little safer about it. Getting your phone out of your hand and up near eye level is a step in the right direction.

f-color-air-vent-mount-2

...and this one clips inside an air vent. And it has feet for added stability. Feet!

F-color

Car mounts come in all shapes and sizes; I'm a huge fan of the magnetic variety, though let me wave you off right now if your phone supports wireless charging and you take advantage of it. That's because magnetic mounts require a metal plate that gets installed inside your case or on the back of it, and it will definitely interfere with wireless charging.

My phone charges the old-fashioned way, so I'm free and clear to leverage the magic of magnets. You should, too, and today I bring you two very affordable options.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the F-color Magnetic Dashboard Mount for $7.99 with promo code MTALXATP or the F-color Magnetic Air-Vent Mount for $7.99 with code ASF9GXDV. Both normally sell for $10.99.

As I said, mounts like these come in numerous styles; here are two of them. The dashboard version relies on a sticky suction-cup pad, which should keep the base securely in place -- but in my experience this depends on how flat your dashboard is, how clean it is when you mount the base and even how much your interior car temperature varies. On the plus side, it keeps your phone higher and therefore closer to eye level.

The air-vent version might be preferable if your individual vents can be closed, because you really don't want hot air blasting your phone during the winter. That said, this model at least extends your phone out a few inches, unlike some that don't provide much space between vent and phone.

It also incorporates "feet" designed to add stability; I've not seen that on the other air-vent mounts I've tried.

Both models incorporate a ball-joint swivel so you can angle your phone toward you; both come with a 12-month warranty.

dollar-general-15-percent-off-gift-cards

What's this, Dollar General? Gift cards 15 percent off? Yes, please!

Dollar General

Are there other options? Definitely. Could you find something similar for the same price or even a buck or two less? Possibly. I'm sharing these because eight bucks is a tiny price to pay for an important car-safety tool and because they're great gift items. Also, as I said, I super-love my magnetic mount. Once you start using one, it's really hard to not use one.

Bonus deal: Is there a Dollar General store near you? Then get over there, pronto, because you can get 15 percent off gift cards for Hulu, Nintendo, PlayStation, Sling and Steam.

That's according to the store's weekly ad circular, which may vary by region -- so hit the site and check the online version to see if the deal is offered in your area. (Or just call your local store.)

It's pretty rare to see more than 10 percent off on gift cards, especially for services like Nintendo and Steam. Nice one, DG!