I have been shaving at least twice per week for the past 15 years now. Sure there was the beard I had in college. But any beard-wearer can tell you that you can’t actually get away with not shaving, not unless you want to look like you just came down off the mountain. In my shaving career, I’ve probably spent a couple grand on razors, razor blades, trimmers, after-shave, pre-shave, and who knows what else. Every time I have to stock up, I want to cry at the prices found in that isle of the store.
It doesn’t help that I have super-sensitive skin. Unless I want to beak out in bright red, pimply-looking razor burn, I can’t skimp on the razor blades or the shaving cream. For the best shave with the least irritation, I use a 3-blade razor. I don’t see a difference in result compared to a 5 blade razor, and the more blades add cost. But if I saw an improvement, I would definitely upgrade. For shaving cream, I’ve actually switched to hair conditioner!
Save Money Shaving with Disposable Razors
I’ve recently switched from razor cartridges to disposable razors. They make disposables with three blades, so why not? The same exact razor is cheaper in disposable form than in replaceable cartridges. At my local store, I can get a 5 pack of Gillette Mach3 cartridges for $13.29 or $2.66 per razor. The three pack of Mach3 disposables, however, is $5.91. That works out to $1.97 per razor or a 26% savings!
Yeah, when I realized that I could cut the cost of my shave by more than a quarter, there wasn’t any question about what I would do. Even the largest refill pack of Mach3 cartridges, the 15 pack, works out $2.40 per razor cartridge. Disposables just win out.
It gets even better if you are a couponer. Disposable razors have coupons just spilling out of the coupon circulars. I probably see a new one about once a month. Coupons for razor cartridges are harder to come by, however. Last month, I had a coupon for buy one, get one free on disposable Gillette razors, up to a value of $10. The register rang the coupon up wrong, however and deducted 10 bucks from the order instead of the $6 for the actual cost of the second pack. Six razors for under $2 is a hard price to beat!
Save Money Shaving with Conditioner
I used to spend hundreds of dollars trying different shaving creams and gels. I’ve come to the conclusion that “for sensitive skin” is simply a means of marking up the price and not actually changing the product. I’ve tried creams with aloe, with menthol. Nothing worked.
And then a friend shared a tip with me: conditioner. Yeah, the other half of your two-in-one shampoo. The 15oz bottle of VO5 costs only 79 cents and will last a couple of months as a shaving cream.
It turns out that hair conditioner makes a pretty awesome shaving cream. Just lather it on like you would an ordinary shave conditioner. It works by making the hair and skin softer. Many conditioners also have moisturizers which further help the razor blade glide over the skin. Conditioners formulated for dry hair will have tiny silicone beads. If silicone keeps baked goods from sticking to the pan under high heat, imagine what it will do for your face and your razor!
One for the ladies
Here is a frugal shaving tip for the ladies. Never buy the “for her” razors. By painting the handle pink, manufacturers are charging as much as 20% more! On a recent shopping trip, I did a side-by-side comparison of men’s and women’s 3-blade disposable razors: The Mach 3 for men’s and Venus for women’s. There were two differences. The first was color. The Mach 3 was a manly black while the Venus is pink. The other difference was the end of the handle. The Venus has a wider spot at the bottom, like a thumb print. And the 3-pack of women’s razors cost $60 more. Savings by buying a “mens” razor: almost 10%
Sometimes they will try to trick you. Both the yellow Bic Shaver Disposable and pink Bic SIlky Touch Disposable are $2.79 where I shop. Here is a case where the two are literally the same razor. Same blade and same handle. Just different colors. But the yellow razors have 12 per package and the pink ones have only 10. By switching to a yellow razor, you get two free ones!
What do you use for your shaving needs? How do you try to save money on shaving?