I am a mountain woman. Nonetheless, I do shave … now and again. Seriously though, I bumped into a friend the other day who recently left home for college, and she was telling me about being responsible for her own expenses now. One of her biggest gripes was the cost of shavers. She said she can’t buy the cheap kind, because they don’t work well for her and they wear out quickly, but the three- and four-blade varieties are so expensive and don’t last that long either!
That conversation started me to wondering about how to increase the life span of a shaver. Turns out I’m not the only one losing sleep over this subject. The Chicago Tribune even ran an article on extending razor life! Turns out, we could all be saving money on shavers with a few easy adjustments.
The logical place to keep a shaver between uses is in the shower, right? Actually, that’s the worst place. The shaver’s worst enemy is moisture, and steam from the shower, or even the damp environment of a shower caddy, is going to dull those blades before the next use. A simple strategy for extending shaver life is to pat shavers dry with a towel and store in a dry place between uses. This could actually double the life of your shaver, saving you 50 percent on shavers!
Secondly, keeping a shaver clean and free of hair and product clogs will also extend its life. You may think I’m freakishly frugal, but in an effort to save money I don’t use shaving cream. Body wash is easier on a razor and works just as well for lubricating the legs for shaving.
You can also realize savings by shaving less frequently, especially in the winter months when probably no one is seeing your legs anyway!
Just not into that? You might also try going back to the cheap twin-blade shavers. Consider this: Venus Embrace five-blade shavers cost $8.52 for three shavers at Wal-mart. Schick disposable twin blades cost $1.97 for 12 shavers. If you do the math (five-blade shaver costs $1.70; twin blade costs $.16), it would take 10 uses of the Venus shavers to recuperate the cost difference over the twin blades. If you’re not getting that kind of longevity from the premium shaver, you might try using a twin-blade again and see if it works well for even one shave. It’s not so great for the environment, but it would save money to use a twin blade once and toss it over getting only five or six shaves from a premium shaver.
Alternately, try electric shavers, which give the additional flexibility of allowing you to shave dry, or depilating products such as Nair. A nine-ounce bottle of Nair costs under $5 and will likely be enough for removing hair six or more times. And hair doesn’t grow back as quickly.
This may not be helpful to know, but twenty years ago there was no such thing as a four- or five- blade shaver. They work well, no doubt, but are they essential? Hardly. If money really is tight, you can shave for less. But if you simply cannot do without the luxury of a many-bladed shaver, at least don’t ever, ever pay full price. Since the top three companies are constantly vying for the consumer, and six, seven or eight blades seems ludicrous, there are almost always coupons available for premium shavers in the Sunday paper or online. Additionally, while at the store, whip out your phone and do the math to see which of the many products offers the best deal. Should you buy a handle with cartridge refills, or disposables? Are refill kits actually cheaper than starter kits? Look for shavers in clearance aisles too, and when you find them, stock up. Sometimes when packaging or product style changes, the older ones get red-tagged.
With just a little more consideration, you can indeed shave down the price of shaving.