Dear Heloise: Why are items priced at $4.99 instead of $5? There must be a reason behind it. — Jenna D., age 13, via email

Jenna, great observation! This is a pricing strategy that retailers use. It's based on the fact that we read from right to left. Your brain perceives the number 4 as less than 5, which it is. So we're thinkin' we're getting a heck of a deal!

Of course, saving a penny is saving a penny, so our brain reads .99 as a "sale" price. Thanks for your email! — Heloise

Tech talk Tuesday

Dear Heloise: If there's one piece of advice I could give others who work from home on their computers, it would be this: Don't leave open a bunch of tabs on your browser.

Sure, you want to be able to refer back to subjects online, but so many open tabs is clutter. Use the tab and then close it. It works great for me and saves time and effort. — Brandon B. in Texas

Popular places

Dear Readers: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.CDC.gov) has come out with a list of the public places you are most likely to contract the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID, and here they are:

• Bars, cafes and restaurants, especially if you are drinking alcohol and your inhibitions are lowered. For food, opt for either takeout or delivery.

• Hotels.

• Churches and other places of worship; look for online services.

Continue to practice all the steps the CDC has recommended: Lots of hand-washing, mask-wearing, staying home if you feel sick, and social distancing (keeping at least six feet between you and everyone else). — Heloise

P.S. If you've received the vaccine, some side effects are normal, such as fever and a great feeling of tiredness and fatigue. These are signs your body is building up a defense against the coronavirus; these side effects should dissipate in a few days.

Thru and thru

Good morning, Heloise! I read one reader's hints about parking when you're alone, especially at night. I always try to park in a "through-and-through" space or back into a spot so I can pull straight out quickly. — Fran in Baltimore

Fran, backing in does save time when you are leaving. — Heloise

Stamp saver

Dear Heloise: I reuse the small plastic mustard container from Chinese food takeout to use as a coin dish for our postal worker when I don't have a stamp to put on my outgoing mail. It's easy to retrieve.

He or she doesn't have to worry about lost or dropped coins when collected. Then they throw the dish back into the mailbox for another time.

The mailman loves it! He thought it was a great idea. Makes it faster and easier especially in the cold winter months here in Maine. — Brenda and Greg

You turn me inside out

Dear Heloise: If I have the right-size box (or envelope) I need to mail my item but it is covered with labels, writing, etc., I disassemble it and re-glue it back together inside out! It's good for the planet and easy! — Susan C., via email

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

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