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Like It or Not, You Need a Good Credit Score In my perfect world there would be no credit scores. And while I do not believe that credit is necessarily evil, in that perfect world of mine, there would be no need for any of that because it would be, well ... perfect! Back to reality. There are …Read more. 7 Fabulous Ways to Use Up Leftover Bread Who doesn't wince at the thought of throwing food in the garbage that is slightly past its prime? Take bread for instance. It's no longer fresh. So what can you really do with leftover bread, rolls or baguettes that will turn them into something …Read more. Novel Ideas to Make Cooking Fun and Rewarding There's just something satisfying about knowing how to make perfectly uniform meatballs, chocolate mousse or baked potatoes in half the time. Today I have a plethora of fun and easy kitchen tips that are sure to raise your kitchen IQ and make you …Read more. My Four-Ounce Travel Buddy Air travel is not what it used to be. Having flown 1.5 million miles in the past 20 years, I've seen things go from enjoyable to downright challenging. I've had to learn a few lessons the hard way, but learn them I have. Because of the things I've …Read more.
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Don't Toss the Expired Sunscreen

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Dear Mary: I have four bottles of sunscreen that have expired. I know that they have lost their full effectiveness as sunscreen, but is there another use? I hate to throw them out. — Dorothy G., Florida

Dear Dorothy: Great question! And good for you for realizing that sunscreen does expire (a good reason for not buying the big economy size unless you are a real sun worshipper). If your products have a moisturizing component (most sunscreens do), you could use them for hand lotion. Sunscreen also makes a dandy shaving cream, expired or not. Just make sure you mark these bottles clearly as "expired" so you don't use them accidentally next summer, or you could end up with a nasty sunburn.

Dear Mary: I recently paid off five credit cards. I'm closing one of the accounts because the company charges an annual fee. I will have $54,000 in available credit. Should I keep the other accounts open? My only other debt is a car payment. I hope to buy a house in three to six months and want my credit score to be awesome. It was about 740 before I paid the credit cards off, and I had them charged up over 50 percent. I need advice. — Jill, Kentucky

Dear Jill: I agree that you need to close the account that charges an annual fee, even though that may cause your score to take a temporary dip. And yes, you need to be very diligent to keep the other accounts active by making charges of any amount several times a year and then paying them off immediately to keep your balances at $0. Six months should be sufficient time for your credit score to reflect all of these positive moves and to recover from any dip that results from your closing the one account.

By the way, congratulations on paying off all that debt!

Dear Mary: Lately, I've heard about the chemicals in antiperspirants being linked to cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Do you know how I can make my own deodorant? I am allergic to many things and haven't found a store-bought deodorant that I can use. — Marty, North Carolina

Dear Marty: Antiperspirants contain aluminum to prevent wetness and deodorant to neutralize odor caused by the bacterial breakdown of perspiration. There are a number of home remedies that can substitute for the deodorant part of that equation (baby powder with baking soda is a good one, as are any number of aluminum-free commercial deodorants), but nothing I know of in a home remedy will prevent perspiring.

Dear Mary: What is "tamari"? It is an ingredient in a recipe I would like to make for spiced hazelnuts. Where can I find it? Thanks for any information you can give me. — Catherine C., California

Dear Catherine: Tamari is a type of soy sauce, usually used in Japanese food. You can easily substitute with Chinese light soy or regular Japanese soy sauce. You should be able to find tamari in the Asian section of a good supermarket. For sure, it would be in a Japanese food store.

Do you have a question for Mary? E-mail her at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 18 books, including "Can I Pay My Credit Card Bill With a Credit Card?" To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

3 Comments | Post Comment
@ Marty: A number of years ago, I suddenly developed a sensitivity to store-bought deodorants where they made my armpits itch mercilessly. I tried various brands and found one brand that didn't bother me: Tom's, which is all natural and has no potentially harmful ingredients. It's just a deodorant and not an anti-perspirant, and I've been using it for more than a decade with no bad reaction. You can get it at health food stores and some drugstores, and at one point I even saw it at Walmart, although I don't know if they still carry it.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Joyce
Thu Nov 4, 2010 9:19 AM
I've made my own deodorant before. I got an inexpensive spray bottle (one like a sample size hair spray would come in), then filled it almost all the way with rubbing alcohol, and added a few drops of tea tree oil. I spritz under my arms in the morning, and in the hot weather I usually apply it again sometime in the afternoon. It's a small bottle, so I can easily carry it with me. It doesn't prevent sweating, but it does prevent smelling bad.
Comment: #2
Posted by: freshie
Thu Nov 4, 2010 9:52 AM
One nice thing about getting older, I've found, is that I no longer need antiperspirant. I also don't need to shave as often, though those hairs seem to have migrated to my face (another story!) ;)

Anyway, a couple of years ago, I stopped using anything but alcohol and dusting powder. I haven't had any problems with wetness or odor. I sometimes wonder if deodorant is really necessary for people who bathe daily and wear clean clothes. (Obviously, if somebody works outside and gets all hot and sweaty it is.)
Comment: #3
Posted by: Joannakathryn
Thu Nov 4, 2010 1:02 PM
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