[an error occurred while processing this directive] 4 Frugal Ways to Freshen Up Your Home - Steven and Chris

4 Frugal Ways to Freshen Up Your Home

Frugalista Amrita Singh shares four frugal ways to freshen up your home.

DIY Air Freshener 

One bottle of essential lavender oil can help freshen up your house for up to a year.

Lavender is synonymous with rejuvenation and calmness, so it's a great way to freshen up your space. Research has shown that the smell of lavender can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, which puts you in a relaxed state. If you're practicing other sleep-promoting habits, adding the scent of lavender to your bedroom can set you up for some serious Z's! 

Promote good sleep: Add drops of lavender essential oil to cotton balls and let them dry. Place the cotton balls into pillowcases for a good night's sleep. 
In the bathroom: Attach cotton swabs to the back of toilet tank for a subtle scent in the bathroom.
In your home: Place cotton balls in a pretty glass bowl and cover with a cheese cloth and ribbon.
Investment: A bottle of lavender essential oil sells for $8 and can also be used in your bath or even in your shampoo to battle dandruff. The list of uses can go on and on.

Stretch Your Flowers

Separating a bouquet of flowers into smaller bundles means you can spread them all over your home instead of in one space.

Any room feels extra fresh if there are fresh flowers displayed! Frugal people prefer to use flowers from nature or buy an assorted arrangement from the grocery store. The good news is you can easily stretch a grocery store bouquet and add some freshness to multiple areas. Sort the flowers by colour or type and put each "batch" into individual holders or vases. Spread these around the home in different rooms.

Investment: Pick up an assorted grocery store bouquet for $10 and spread the freshness of flowers all over your house!

DIY Potpourri

Making your own potpourri is fulfilling.

Store bought potpourri is convenient and lovely, but a handmade version is just as great and it costs much less and makes for great gifts. The first step is dehydrating two aromatic fruits, apples and oranges. This is a great way to use up apples that may be past their prime. Cut both as thin as possible and put them in a 250 degree oven to dry out. You may need to flip them at the 45 minute mark so the underside of each slice dehydrates as well. You can even sprinkle cinnamon powder on them before you put them into the oven.

Once dried, mix the apple and orange slices with cloves, cinnamon sticks and star anise. Leave in a pretty dish and voila! You have a wonderfully warm and seasonal potpourri that adds a subtle scent when left on its own. You can also boil this potpourri in some water if you need to freshen up your kitchen in a hurry!

Investment: $6 to make a huge batch that will stay effective for three months.

DIY Smudge Stick

Using smudge sticks can be a way to cleanse yourself of negativity.

Smudging is an old tradition in the First Nation's culture. Every nation has its own specific smudging customs steeped in meaning. But generally, herbs are burned as a way to cleanse yourself of negativity and make way for positive energy. When the smudge stick is burning you rub your hands in the smoke and bring the smoke to your body. You can buy premade smudging sticks or bundles from herbalists and all-natural stores, but you can also make your own and create your own tradition while you do it.

The most common herbs used are white sage, cedar and sweetgrass. What you use will depend on where you live and what is available to you. Today, North Americans have adapted the principles of smudging to refresh their homes and bring in positive energy.

To make your own: Tightly bundle cedar and buffalo sage with embroidery string. Let dry out for a week. Light and smudge throughout your home.
Tip: Buffalo sage is best for this use because kitchen sage will smoke when lit and be hard to inhale.
Investment: $10 for the predried bundle of buffalo sage which can be stretched to make several smudge sticks when supplemented with the cedar.


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