See what was in this issue of Real Simple.

By Real Simple
Updated January 20, 2005
Sang An


Be Prepared, pg. 43
A little advanced planning makes nearly everything turn out better. What to bring, consider, and find out before heading to the library.

Savings Plan, pg. 146
Let’s face it: The necessities of daily life can be expensive. But if you buy them at the right times ― and not at the last minute― you can avoid paying full price and save a bundle.

Creative Control, pg. 154
Ever wonder what it would take to make your house really work? One family shows how a little imagination can result in ingenious and stylish solutions for living.

Meat and Potatoes, pg. 164
It’s no accident this combination has become a synonym for hearty ― meat and potatoes make the perfect meal for any blustery evening. Here, six satisfying variations on the theme.

Break the Rules, pg. 172
Feeling hemmed in by your hemlines, or blue that you can’t wear black heels with your brown suit? Step outside the lines and liberate your wardrobe at last.

Simple Solutions

  • Modern Manners, pg. 66
    How to respond when asked to write a recommendation for someone you don’t exactly know.
  • Healthy Habit, pg. 68
    Five small, easy changes to make your diet more nutritious.
  • Gracious Giver, pg. 70
    Wrapping tricks that make the gift of books clever as well as smart.
  • Products of the Month, pg. 72
    One lid that fits all pots; an air sanitizer that fits in your purse.
  • Garden Guide, pg. 74
    Plant-by-numbers kits that can make any thumb green.


  • Thoughts, pg. 12
  • Your Words, pg. 53
    What small changes have you made that help you save money for a rainy day?
  • Kitchen Wisdom, pg. 81
    How an aunt’s insights―and baklava―helped writer Diana Abu-Jaber learn to talk to her father.
  • Postscript, pg. 212
    An excerpt from the memoir Standby, by Sandy Broyard.

The Guide


  • The top drugstore bath products. pg. 91


  • Nightstands for every bedroom. pg. 101



  • Worn in layers, spring clothing can brighten your spirits on a cold-weather day. pg. 117


  • Solve everyday problems on your own―without calling a pro. pg. 125

The Organizer

  • Bills, correspondence, catalogs, junk mail: Turn your back on them and they pile up out of control. But if you adopt a few simple systems, you can have your mail organized and out of the way in no time. pg. 133


Shopping List/Recipe Index, pg. 184

  • A week’s worth of delicious, no-fuss dinners. pg. 187
  • Three great desserts that start with vanilla pudding. pg. 203

The Road Test

  • The best cereal bars, plus how to make a morning meal out of them. pg. 199

In Every Issue

  • Why Not? pg. 20
  • Contributors, pg. 36
  • Editor’s Note, pg. 40
  • Credits, pg. 210
  • Real Simple to Go, pg. 214