27 Inexpensive Ways to Secure Your Home (2024)

There are a lot of different ways to secure your home.

Home security systems are great, but the thing is, owning one can end up being very expensive. Naturally, many people are looking for inexpensive, frugal ways to secure their homes.

Some of these home security tricks and hacks are very low cost, and others can be done without spending a dime.

Home security doesn’t have to cost a lot. Here are 27 affordable ways to secure your home on a budget.

Inexpensive Ways to Secure Your Home

Keep Everything Properly Locked

A survey by Nationwide reported that 25% of homeowners left their front door unlocked at least once in the past year, 29% the back door, and 19% the side door. And many said that they tend to leave the second-floor and first-floor windows unlocked.

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, 34% of all burglars enter through the front door, 22% through the back door, 9% through a garage, and 23% through a window on the first floor.

Most burglaries are crimes of opportunity. This is why it is essential to make your home not look like an easy target. Taking some extra steps to ensure your windows and doors are all locked is a must.

Ensure all doors, including your garage door and windows, are kept closed and locked. Use both your locks and deadbolts. Make it a routine to always check everything before leaving, when you are working on something in your backyard, or doing quick errands.

Upgrade your locks. Look for locks that are anti-bump, anti-pick, and anti-drill for better security.

Also, give everything a little pull, try to pry open your door or windows, see if everything feels solid.


Reinforce Your Doors

Reinforcing doors can be done cheaply and quickly. For example, you can add longer strike plates, door reinforcement plates, and interior flip locks.


Replace Screws

After reinforcing your door with tougher deadbolts, locks, and strike plates, you have to take care of the screws that are holding everything together.

Replace the screws of your door and window hinges, locks, and deadbolts with longer and more durable ones. It is recommended to go with 3 to 4 inch long screws. And consider adding door hinge bolts.


Consider Using Door Barricades, Braces, Brackets, Jams, or Stops

There are a lot of different door brackets, wedges, and barricades to choose from. Burglaries can occur even when the homeowners are inside, and these little gadgets can be a lifesaver.

Even using a simple and inexpensive door stop alarm (like this one found on Amazon) is not only going to prevent burglars from getting inside easily, but it will also sound a very loud 120 dB alarm.


Toughen up Your Windows

Windows are typically an easy way to get into a home. Often they are left unprotected, unsecured, and even unlocked.

Window security films (like this one on Amazon) are inexpensive and easy to install. They are placed directly on the windows themselves and make it a lot harder to break the glass. Window security films can be used on your garage windows and any doors with windows as well.

You can also add some extra window locks or latches.


Install Glass Break Sensors

Glass break sensors (like these on Amazon) are little devices that monitor for signs of breaking glass. These can be an excellent and cheap way to up your home’s security.


Use a Video Doorbell

Some smart video doorbells can alert you in real-time when somebody rings them or is at your front door and allow you to talk to them through the doorbell even if you are not home.

If a burglar decides to ring your doorbell to check if anybody is home, when they hear your voice, they will be unsure whether you are actually home or not, so they will not try to break in.


Use Motion Sensors

There are excellent and affordable smart motion sensors that can be used to protect your home from burglars.

A good example is this one on Amazon. This type of motion sensor allows for some neat home automation while not requiring you to pay any subscription fees.


Use Door and Window Sensors

There are some simple door and window sensors that do not cost a lot and will add another security layer to your home. (Like these sold on Amazon)


Use Fake Security Cameras

Fake security cameras (like the ones sold by BNT Store on Amazon) can be a super inexpensive way to secure your home.

As the name suggests, they are designed to look like a real security camera on the outside, but they are not real cameras and cannot record or store any footage.

However, keep in mind that experienced burglars may be able to distinguish between real and dummy security cameras—especially if they are of lower quality.


Consider Using a Home Security System

Home security systems are not as expensive as they used to be.

Naturally, a professionally monitored home security system can be pretty expensive and involve recurring monthly subscription expenses. However, budget-conscious homeowners can always go for a simpler self-monitored home security system or a cheaper monitoring plan.

So shop around. The majority of self-monitored home security systems do not involve any monthly payments and leave the responsibility of monitoring and alerting the authorities up to the homeowner.

Top 7 Cheap Home Security Systems to Affordably Protect Your Home


Get Exterior Flood Lights

Motion sensor lights (like these battery-powered ones on Amazon) are inexpensive and are the best way to keep the area around your home illuminated during the night.

Some of these floodlights can also be paired with a security camera, although these tend to be more expensive.


Secure Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are often a security concern as they can sometimes be easily opened, broken, or lifted from their rails from outside.

Sliding window locks and bars can be super useful and toughen up your sliding doors. A simple wooden rod can be used to block the rails and prevent the door from being easily opened, and a few well-placed screws along the tracks can prevent the door from being lifted up.

Most of these methods of security a sliding door are very affordable, too; take a look at the video below for more information.


Secure Your Garage Door

Installing an additional lock or placing two padlocks through the rails of your garage door is a cheap way to keep your garage door locked.

Zip tie your garage door emergency release. Burglars can often reach the emergency release switch from the outside using nothing more than a simple wire hanger.

Here’s a good example of how burglars do it and how you can prevent it.


Add Alarm Signs

Putting up alarm signs that will inform people the area is being monitored and protected is a great and super cheap crime deterrent. Of course, you want to use something that looks legitimate and not fake.

A “Beware of Dog” sign or any signs that will imply the owners can be armed and ready to defend their property can also be useful.


Get To Know Your Neighbors

It is always best to have an extra pair of eyes on your property. This is where your neighbors can help.

Get to know them.

Join or discuss starting a neighborhood watch program.

Something as simple as that can make it harder for burglars to break into homes because neighbors can have an easier time spotting strangers.


Make It Look Like Somebody Is Home

One of the easiest ways to make your home look a little more active is to put some lights on timers. This can be achieved using smart plugs, which can be controlled remotely from your smartphone.

You can also put a TV or radio on a timer or use a fake TV simulator like this one on Amazon.


Keep the Area Around Your Home Tidy

Burglars often try to find out if the owner has been away for some time.

Signs suggesting the owners may be away are accumulated newspapers, magazines, flyers, uncollected mail deliveries, uncut grass, and too much snow.


Maintain the Landscape

Take care of the landscape around your home.

Burglars look for blind spots and places they can hide, often offered by untrimmed and overgrown bushes, shrubs, and trees.

The general rule of thumb is to keep bushes and shrubs no higher than 3 feet. That way, burglars will have a difficult time hiding or crouching behind them. Prickly bushes and shrubs are an excellent option for around windows and other strategic areas around your home.


Keep a Car in Your Driveway

This can be your car, a neighbor’s car, or a friend’s car. If your neighbors are having guests over, let them know they can also use your driveway while you are away to make it look like there’s more activity in your home.

A car in the driveway is one of the simplest tricks to make burglars question whether or not there is somebody inside.

Usually, a car in the driveway means the owner is home, and many burglars will leave looking for better targets.

Of course, do not forget to keep the car locked at all times and remove any valuables from inside.


Do Not Forget Your Wi-Fi

Unsecured wireless networks are a security concern. This is why it is better to take some extra measures to keep your Wi-Fi network safe. Best of all, these do not require any money.

  • Use a unique, long, and strong password
  • Use network encryption
  • Keep the Wi-Fi network hidden
  • Keep the router’s software updated
  • Change the default name of your network


Do Not Post Vacation Updates

If you are going on a vacation, keep it to yourself, your friends, relatives, and neighbors. However, you do not want it to be so obvious that even burglars will know you are away.

Don’t leave calendars, notes, or other things that can be seen from outside, as they can inform burglars that you may be away. Be careful with social media, too. Ideally, you should not post anything until you are back.


Try to Stay Unpredictable

Burglars are always trying to figure out the schedule of the people living in the home they are currently casing.

Try to alternate your schedule, leaving or coming back at different times and using different routes when going out.


Use a Driveway Alarm

Driveway alarms are an easy way to keep tabs on your driveway. Driveway alarms like this one (found on Amazon right here) are an excellent additional security layer to your home.


Keep Valuables Out of Sight

Another simple way of upping your security is to keep your valuables out of sight. This includes both items that are indoors and outdoors. Do not leave anything that is easy to grab outside like toys, bicycles, and other valuable things that can attract opportunistic burglars.

Do not keep tools, ladders, or other equipment outside that burglars can use to gain entry. Even a few spare bricks or random rocks that may be lying around your yard can help a burglar to enter your home.

Valuable items like your TV, computers and other electronics, and jewelry should be kept out of sight.

Use curtains or blinds and place everything in a way that cannot be observed by random passersby.

Keep the most valuable items in safes or hidden in places where burglars may not think to look.

If you have recently purchased expensive electronics, don’t leave the boxes outside.


Secure Your Outside Electrical Box

If the code, where you live, requires your electrical box to be installed outside, consider upping its security. Use higher quality padlocks and consider installing a motion sensor floodlight and camera to keep the area well lit and monitored.

Top 9 Locks For Electrical Panels in 2023


Do Not Keep Spare Keys Outside

It is good to have a backup key. However, it is best to leave one with a close friend or relative.

Leaving extra keys outside your home is not recommended as burglars may be able to find them while casing your home.


Conclusion: Cheap Home Security Ideas

The last thing we want this summer is for you to be robbed! Follow the tips mentioned in this article to help you secure your home like never before.

And there you have it — we’ve covered several ways you can secure your home on a budget. There are a lot of inexpensive ways to implement and improve your home security. It’s important to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Just use your brains and be alert.

What are your thoughts on these ways? Do you have any other ways that you could suggest? Let us know by contacting us.

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Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

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