7 Ways You Can Save $1,000 by Christmas, If You Start Now

In 2017, an American Research Group survey found that American shoppers planned to spend an average $983 on holiday gifts. Though we don't yet know what this year's average will be, it will likely go up. Do you have an extra $1,000 stashed away for the holidays? If not, you've got six months to build your reserve. Here are seven ways you can save $1,000 by Christmas … if you start now.

1. Turn your clutter into cash

OK, I'm cheating a little bit with this one. But hey, you gotta make money in order to save money!

Explore the dark recesses of your attic, closets, and basement. What long-forgotten treasures could you liquidate for cash on eBay, Etsy, or Facebook Marketplace? List a few items each week. Depending on value and volume, you could easily accumulate $1,000 by Christmas. (See also: 12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes)

2. Cut back on dining out

For many of us, cooking has become a casualty of our busy lives. According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American families spent an average $3,008 dining out in 2015 (that's more than $250 a month!). Replace takeout with "make-in" and you'll save that $1,000 by Christmas. (See also: 12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money)

3. Make water your beverage of choice

Though recent statistics are scarce, Time magazine reported in 2012 that the average American spends nearly $850 a year on soda and $1,100 on coffee. Oh, and don't forget our other liquid love — booze. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American families spent an average $515 on alcohol in 2015. (See also: Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Drinking)

Make tap water your beverage of choice for the next six months and you'll save a load of cash. Even if you don't cut out the soda, coffee, and booze entirely, cutting back until Christmas will help you save a significant amount that you can spend on gifts for your loved ones.

4. Swap cable TV for a streaming service

According to data collected by Leichtman Research Group, the average monthly cable TV bill in the U.S. was about $106 in 2017. But with just few extra premium channels, your bill could easily hit $150-$175 a month. Cut the cord and subscribe to a streaming service. A Hulu Plus membership is $7.99 a month and Netflix's standard streaming service is currently $10.99.

5. Try no-spend weekends

Movies, shopping, dinners out, and drinks with friends — weekends can be expensive. Try a different approach. Two weekends each month, take a spending break. Besides essential bills that come due, challenge yourself to not spend one dime. If your typical weekend budget is $70, by the time Christmas rolls around, you'll have saved over $700. (See also: 47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend)

6. Don't buy any new clothing

A pair of jeans for $65? A shirt for $48? New clothes can really take a bite out of your budget. Over the next six months, see how far your current wardrobe will stretch. That means saying "no" to all new clothing purchases.

Need something essential during that time? Skip retail and shop secondhand. If your current clothing budget is $150 per month, this single move could save you $900 by Christmas. (See also: These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget)

7. Cut out the smaller expenses

Try cutting or eliminating 10-15 small expenses. Resolve to never use an out-of-network ATM. Examine your homeowners, auto, and life insurance policies to see if you qualify for discounts or lower premiums. Wait another year to upgrade your smartphone. Buy generic groceries or embrace a discount grocery store. Remember, dozens of small changes can quickly add up to big savings. (See also: Save Big at These 4 Discount Supermarkets)

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