Valdosta Daily Times

September 16, 2012

The Fall of the House of Pumpkin

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — For those of you who follow me on Twitter (@VDT_Brittany), you saw that I broke the scarf barrier on Wednesday, opening up boot and scarf season for all women in Valdosta! You’re welcome. However, since we’re approaching the end of September, you not only need to fall up your fashion, but your la maison (that’s fancy talk for house) as well.

Sure, making your home smell like the Great Pumpkin filled himself with cinnamon and then exploded all over your house isn’t a budgetary necessity, but as you saw with Tuesday’s Facebook daily budget tip, budgeting isn’t just about knowing your financial limitations and accepting your current state, but about knowing how to give yourself a little “bonus” every now and then.

Since I’m obviously not getting more money coming my way anytime soon and my student loan bills make me rock in the corner and cry, my little “bonus” to maintain my lucid states of sanity have been to fill my nose (not literally, I think it’s illegal to snort potpourri) and my home with sensual smells of fall.

While I’m addicted to Febreeze like a Kardashian to sequined spandex, it can get pricey, especially when you spritz it as much as I do. So, here are some budget-friendly ways to make your home smell like unicorns and magic for virtually nothing.

Potion Pot

No, this isn’t a new street drug for you to worry about. It’s the most delicious way to fill your home with Septembery goodness.

First, fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. While the water boils, add some apple juice, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Turn the heat down to low and let simmer until the aroma fills your house.

To be safe, set the timer for 30 minutes. After that point, top off the water and continue to boil to further fill home or take the mixture off the stove. Don’t boil for more than 30 minutes without checking the pot and topping off with water. The goal is to make your home smell like fall, not literally make your house fall from fire.

I recommend this method if you’re preparing for a party and you want your guests to walk in smelling the scent. This is not a good everyday method.

Shortcut Potion Pot

You can still boil common cooking ingredients without having to check it every half hour.

Take a small sauce pan and fill it with about one inch of water. Bring it to a boil then lower the heat to low. Add one teaspoon of ground nutmeg and one cinnamon stick (or two tablespoons of ground cinnamon) to the sauce pan. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, uncover and let the Fall smell permeate throughout your home.

Sachet Packets

I have recently discovered sachet packets — paper envelopes filled with grinded potpourri — and I have to tell you, they are the most brilliant invention since the they figured out how to turn liquid soap into foam (I’m 24, but it’s still like magic to me).

If you can’t sit at home all day while you boil sensual potions, sachet packets are the cheap and sure-(anti)-fire way to make your home smell wonderful!

Kirkland’s offers them in every scent imaginable for $1.99 per pack and sometimes they go on sale for three for $5. You can also find them between 99 cents and $4.99 at TJ Maxx.

I must caution you to keep them out of reach of dogs. Winnie found one of them in a shelf and though I’m sure the packets have the potential to poison those who ingest its contents, she got lucky and just smelled like pumpkin spice for a few days.

Air Venting

If cinnamon and pumpkin spice aren’t your thing, you may like the clean smell of pine and timber.

Go buy a pack of those tree-shaped car fresheners that you typically hang off your rearview mirror. You can find them for as cheap as a $1.

Hang the trees in front of your air vents and every time the air or heat flows out, it will carry the scent.

Those are just a few of my favorite ways to make my home smell like fall. Try them for yourself and even try your own twist. Be sure to tell me about it on Facebook at and while you’re there, like my page.