Print Email October 2009 Keep-It-Together Checklist Stay calm and in control with Real Simple's easy-to-follow monthly to-do list. Get it delivered to your inbox every month. Save this checklist! Progress Saved Your progress has been saved **You've changed this checklist.** Remember to save your progress. See Your Saved Checklists | All Checklists done! Save on Halloween supplies. Steer clear of the costume aisle at your nearby big-box storeand the risk of showing up as yet another witch at the neighborhood partyand try a homegrown option instead. (One idea: Dress up as “Iron Chef” and wear a chef’s hat while carrying an iron.) Buy sweets from OrientalTrading.com, which offers lesser-known (but just as tasty) brands, like Wonka’s Laffy Taffy, at about half the cost of drugstore prices. And for your centerpiece, head to a local farm to buy gourds instead of picking them up at the grocery store; you could save $5 or more on each one. done! Start composting. Don’t bag the fallen leaves in your yard; throw them, along with kitchen scraps, into a backyard compost bin. Make sure you have a ratio of three “browns” (that’s wood chips, straw, branches, and leaves) to one “green” (grass clippings and kitchen scraps). Mix the pile every time you add new waste and, in as little as a few months, you’ll have rich compost to add to your backyard. done! Pick up some pears. You’ll probably have to ripen these fall favorites at home, so store them at room temperature. When they’re ready to be eaten, the flesh on the neck will give a little when pressed. Then make Pear-Apple Sauce: Simmer equal parts chopped pears and apples with a bit of sugar and cinnamon until the fruit breaks down and the sauce thickens. done! Spruce up your wardrobe. Your closet needs a pick-me-up, but who has time for a trip to the mall? Make fall shopping easier by checking out eight pieces from each of readers’ five favorite stores (J.Crew, Ann Taylor, H&M, Banana Republic, and Loft). done! Protect your hands. Prepare your skin for the colder months—keep them looking healthy and youthful with the help of the right products. done! Buy jeans. The rush for back-to-school clothes has ended, so retailers are cutting prices on leftover inventory, which includes a lot of denim. Check out department stores and Loehmann’s and Marshall’s for marked-down designer jeans left over and you could save 30 to 60 percent below retail. done! Shop the frozen-foods aisle. Frozen vegetables and fruits can actually be more nutritious than fresh, since they’re packaged right after harvesting and the nutrients stay at their peak. Plus, when you opt for frozen, you can get out-of-season foods (say, peaches) all year round. Progress saved Progress SavedYour progress has been saved**You've changed this checklist.**Remember to save your progress.