Make your home smell amazing!

My favorite budget fall candles for 2020, whether you prefer subtle or strong. This fall candle haul will save you precious time and money!

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If your house is anything like ours, every penny needs to stretch these days. Pricey candles that use to be a part of our fall right-of-passage are no longer in the budget this year.

But, just because you won’t be stocking up on your usual scents doesn’t mean your home can’t smell amazing this fall season. I went in search of lower-cost candles that rival popular, expensive brands for scent, burn time, and cozy glow. Here’s what I found!


Most fall candle scents are in one of the following four categories. Your favorite budget fall candle will remind you of all your cherished elements of the season.

  • Musk or Outdoor: These scents carry a heavier, and usually stronger fragrance that reminds us of a walk in the woods, a campfire, or a cozy, fall morning.
  • Home Cooking: If autumn is all about special foods, you’ll be drawn to these scents. Even if you’re a novice in the kitchen, never fear! These candles will make everyone think you’ve just cooked up a fresh pumpkin pie or frothy cappuccino.
  • Spice Cabinet: Simple and warm, these scents evoke the basic elements of the best baking secrets. Cinnamon, vanilla, clove-these yummy fragrances are easy to mix and match.
  • Tangy Orchard: If apple picking is your favorite fall memory, you’ll be drawn to these crisp and clean scents. Just like the first bite of fresh-picked fruit, they’ll make your mouth water.


When it comes to our noses, strength of a fragrance is very subjective. In candle lingo, the scent is described as “throw”.

Throw is the term used to describe how well the scent from a candle circulates throughout a space. A lot of people think that you just need to find a candle with a good scent, but that won’t do you any good if the fragrance won’t fill a room.

Candle Warmers, Etc.

While all the candles I tested smelled great in the jar, there were a few that really carried their fragrance throughout our house. If you have family members with uber-sensitive sniffers, like I do, you’ll want to be careful.

3-wick candles, for example, usually have much greater throw and may be quite overwhelming in small spaces like a powder room or even a small home, like ours.


Instead of forking over big bucks at my usual candle store, I selected candles from Dollar Tree and Walmart. From the 10 scents I tested, there were some I wouldn’t bother with and others that truly stood out.

Here are my favorites in each category.

Musky Outdoors

For those who prefer a very light scent, I recommend the Sure Scents brand “Amber Woods” candle, found at Dollar Tree (only available in store). Although this candle doesn’t burn through all the wax evenly, it emits a warm, amber glow and a really pleasant musky-floral fragrance.

It’s a great buy for a small bathroom. For just a dollar each, you can burn several at once for a stronger scent in a large space. The clear, glass jar will fit in any decor style.

If you prefer a stronger throw or have a home with high ceilings, give Walmart’s “Fireside” wax melts by Wood Wick a try. A luxurious mix of amber, earthy and musk fragrances made me feel like I was enveloped in a cozy blanket.

Wax warmers are an inexpensive way to fill your home with yummy scents without the fear of an open flame. Since “Fireside” is a highly-fragranced product, one cube will definitely do the job!

Home Cooking

The tiny, 3 ounce “Butter Pecan” candle by Dollar Tree’s Old Williamsburg brand (only in stores) is a winner in the lighter scent category. It comes in an adorable Mason jar with screw-top lid and would make a perfect fall gift or care package item.

Rich scents of caramel, sugar, and hazelnut will fill the air for about a 3-foot radius, but don’t expect this little cutie to overtake a room.

Only the wax that is warmed will be releasing fragrance, so getting a bigger wax pool going will give you the widest throw.

Candle Warmers, Etc.

If you’re hoping to convince everyone you’ve spend the day cooking up goodies, try Walmart’s “Farm Apple Pumpkin” scented wax cubes by Better Homes and Gardens.

Just one cube of “Farm Apple Pumpkin” will fill the air with a yummy combo of clove, cinnamon, apple and just a hint of pumpkin. All the best of cool weather baking!

Spice Cabinet

If you’re looking for an inexpensive little workhorse in this category, Dollar Tree’s “Apple Cinnamon” by Luminessence is your pick. The throw on this 3 ounce candle took me by surprise, and the wax burned evenly with a rich, red glow.

“Apple Cinnamon” is heavier on the cinnamon, with just a touch of apple fragrance. Definitely the budget winner in this category.

Tangy Orchard

Last, but not least, my all-time favorite of these budget fall candles for value, scent, and appearance is Walmart’s “Mulled Cider” by Mainstays.

This candle has a crisp, apple scent with undertones of vanilla and just a hint of cinnamon. You’ll find it burns evenly and all the way down to the bottom of it’s clear, glass jar.

I discovered “Mulled Cider” last fall and intend to stock up on this seasonal item. (Unless you before beat me to the shelves!) This scent puts me in the mood for falling leaves and pumpkin-carving without being overpowering.

What’s your favorite budget fall candle? If you decide to try one of my favorites, let me know what you think!