Disposables? Clubs? Depilatories? What can reduce the cost of a close shave?
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
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I have been trying to cut our family's toiletries budget and one area I think I am likely overspending is on shaving needs, especially for myself and my two teenage daughters (my husband primarily uses an electric razor). I have already stopped buying shaving cream for us ladies, but we seem to go through too many disposable razors just for shaving legs. I already use coupons when I can and always stock up when disposable razors are on sale. Does anyone have any tips for making disposable razors last longer? And what about the subscription shave clubs that seem to be popping up online? Has anyone found good savings subscribing to any of them? I have also considered switching to a depilatory, but they seem even more expensive. Also, I have never really used one enough to accurately compare cost per use. Any shaving savings tips would be appreciated!
Keep Them Going
I use the razors with replaceable heads, and I can keep a single cartridge going for months. Here are my strategies:
- Clean the blade. If the cartridge gets clogged with hair, it's much less effective. Rinse it thoroughly to remove all the hair. I actually find that twin-blade cartridges are better than the 3-, 4-, and 5-blade ones because they're easier to clean all the hair out of.
- Reduce rust. After rinsing, I dry the blade carefully with a towel and then swipe it through a little tub of coconut oil (which I keep in the shower anyway as a moisturizer). This not only keeps it from rusting but also helps lubricate the next shave, so I get a closer and more comfortable shave.
- Strop the blade. Stropping isn't exactly the same as sharpening; it doesn't remove chipped or dulled edges, but instead realigns the edge so it shaves more smoothly. You can strop the blade on a leather belt, a leather-soled shoe, a pair of blue jeans, or even your own forearm (this video shows how).
And if you really want to get radical with savings, kick it Bryn Mawr style and just let your hair grow.
Love the Dollar Shave Club
I subscribe to the Dollar Shave Club, and yes, I'm female! The blades work great. I get the mid-grade blade, which is $6 a month for four. The handles are free for the first one (I only need one!) and I only go through about four or five blades per month. I don't shave every day, though, and I'm careful to dry the blade after using it. It used to be $10 for the handle for my Venus blades and $17 for four blades, which didn't last as long as these do, so I'm saving a ton. My skin is very sensitive, so I can't use dollar store razors. They just tore my skin to shreds. These are awesome! I've been using them for probably a year now and can't say enough good stuff about them!
Buy an Epilator
Consider buying an epilator. It is similar to waxing and plucks the hairs so it lasts longer and you don't get as much stubble. You can get a Philips Satinelle
for under $35 on Amazon. I've had one for several years and only need to use it every few weeks. It takes some getting used to because the plucking may sting a little at first. There are no blades to replace, so it's a one-time cost.
Keep Razor Dry
I am able to use a cheap, throw-away shaver for months with this simple trick. After each use, I return the shaver to its place between the folds of a dry wash cloth!
Sometimes Cheap Isn't Frugal
Sometimes being cheap isn't so frugal. I used disposable razors for a while. I found while they're nice to take on trips, their use on a regular basis is very short lived. I invested in a good razor, and although replacement blades are expensive, they have lasted for a much longer time than a bag of disposables. Coupons for replacement blades can be found to offset costs, and I stock up when finding good deals. Also, instead of buying shaving cream, I use hair conditioner for legs. Any conditioner works fantastic at leaving skin feeling soft. A little conditioner goes a long way at being another cost cutter and a time saver because you don't have to soap and lotion your legs!
Only Shave Every Other Day
Here are some ideas to save money on shaving:
- Only shave every other day. It really is enough.
- Always dry your razor blade after shaving. This makes it last a lot longer.
- Look for razor deals at CVS or Walgreens by using coupons, sales, and rewards.
- Make your teenage daughters buy their own razors!
Esther in Rincon, GA
Store Razors in Vegetable Oil
After each use of the razor, rinse well and then shake or dry off as much moisture as possible. I keep a small jar with about an inch of vegetable oil in the bottom of it. Place the razor into the oil between shavings. The oil keeps it lubricated and stops any rusting the water might bring about. I have used the same razor for weeks at a time. I use about six to seven razors per year. Exchange the vegetable oil every month or so. You'll know when you see debris building up in it. It still cost less than buying 10-20 razors a month.
Enjoy a Bargain
My husband uses Dorco for razors. It's a great bargain! The razors are very good quality. In addition, after you have used the razor, dry it off on a towel and then dry it with a hair dryer. It extends the life of the razor like you wouldn't believe. When he was shaving everyday (he has a beard now), he could extend a razor for about a month if not longer.
Baby Oil Instead of Shaving Cream
Shave with baby oil rather than shaving cream. It will leave your legs smoother for longer, and it helps your razor last longer. You won't have to shave your legs as much, and this will save you time in the long run!
Love My Epilator!
I have used an electric epilator for years for hair I never want to have grow back on my legs, underarms, and face, and the hair grows back thinner and thinner and eventually doesn't grow back at all. The first epilator I owned had a rotating coil, and I wasn't anywhere near as happy with it as with my current one, which has a wheel with sets of tiny tweezers that rotate. It has lasted for years and works very well. Some people use them for bikini line, but from what I understand, that takes a pretty decent tolerance to pain. The model I currently own is priced at $40 on Amazon. You can search for "epilator" and find them.
Consider Using an Electric Shaver
Have you also considered using a ladies electric shaver? They offer a quick, smooth, close and comfortable shave.
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Clark Howard on Disposable Razors
I was watching CNN some years back when they had Clark Howard giving ways to save money. One of his suggestions involved disposable razors. I've tried it and it works. After shaving, thoroughly rinse the razor, getting out any bits of hair. Carefully dry off the blades with a soft rag or paper towel and then insert it into a jar containing baby oil. It only needs to cover the blades. Apparently the main reason the blades become dull is because of rust that forms on them.
I use a separate razor for my underarms and legs. I use the newer one for my underarms, which need a sharper blade to keep from getting irritated. When the one for my legs gets too dull to give a close shave, I switch my underarm razor to my legs and get a new one for my underarm. I only need a new blade once a month or so with this system.
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