I’m always looking to save money, even if I’ve just received my paycheck and can ‘officially’ splurge on something.

The older I get, the more interested I am in saving money for practical expenses, like contributing to my retirement savings account or investing in a quality piece of furniture.

Not so long ago, my interests in purchasing clothes and shoes became about comfort and durability instead of what was cute and probably only good for wearing to a dance club.

I find that I approach saving money around the home as a bit of a challenge – where can I cut back without negatively affecting my frugal-but-fun lifestyle?

The more research I do, the more ways I find to save money around my home.

Here are some tried-and-true suggestions I stick by:

1. Be your own repairperson

You don’t have to be professionally licensed to do small repairs in your home. Pull together a set of basic tools including a hammer, screwdriver, pliers, torque wrench and flashlight. Purchase or borrow a book about basic home repair (or search online for a DIY video), and see what you can do without a professional’s help.

ways to save money at home

2. Green clean

Making your own cleansers is a great way to save money that you would otherwise spend on store-bought products. You will also keep your indoor air less polluted and avoid releasing harmful chemicals into the environment. Ingredients like baking soda and vinegar are low-cost, widely-available, and can be used to clean even if children are in the room.

3. Adjust the thermostat

My mom always told me to put on a sweater if I was cold in the winter. Now that I pay the bills, I understand what she was talking about. Keeping the thermostat at 68 degrees or lower in the winter and 75 degrees or higher in the summer will keep your heating and cooling systems from running endlessly. You can always keep a spray bottle of water in the fridge and spritz yourself to cool down if you get too hot.

4. Cook

It may seem like a simple tip, but the cost of takeout adds up quickly. Cooking at home will save you money and give you a chance to experiment with recipes that you might have long ago clipped from a magazine. Be sure to hang on to “old” food, such as overripe bananas. They are perfect for making banana bread, just as leftover veggies can be made into a delicious soup you can eat all week long.

5. Ditch cable

I never thought I could live without cable until I gave it a try. To my surprise, I don’t miss it at all. I stay entertained with an $8/month subscription to Netflix.

Save even more money, and get DVDs from the public library. There may be a bit of a wait for new releases, but you can supplement with books from the same location. (Fanny’s note: Check out how to watch TV free.)

Simple, right? The tips don’t stop here either. Take a look around, and decide what money-saving tips you can employ. You might just be surprised at how quickly your pennies add up.

Maire blogs on behalf of Sears and other quality products she uses. She enjoys spending her free time hunting for bargains at thrift stores and is well known among her friends for being a “coupon queen.”

Photo Credit: sidewalk flying