How to Save Money Shaving

First off, I want to start off by saying that no one should ever tell you what to do with your body, including body hair. Even if something is a cultural norm, if you want to keep body hair somewhere, that is your choice. And you can change your choice at any time. I, personally, prefer to shave my underarm hair, and occasionally my legs, but it is fine to not do that either. My preferred tool is an epilator, but many people prefer to not use something that pulls out hairs, as that can be painful. If you're someone that shaves, here is how you can save money shaving, while helping the environment at the same time.

Since the early 1900s our grooming routines have changed dramatically, shifting from high-quality straight razors, balms and creams to disposable cartridge razors and shaving foam in a can! Razor companies such as Gillette would have us believe that using disposable razors not only provides a smoother shave, but it’s also cheaper. But is this actually true or can we save money and still keep our faces and legs hair-free using a more traditional method of shaving?

Before we delve into a cost comparison of shaving methods, there is also another consideration to bear in mind! Although the extent of the problem is unclear due to a lack of reliable data, USA today reported that in 1990 a study showed that in the US alone, over 2 billion disposable razors and blades were sent to landfills. Whilst we can’t be clear on exact figures, if we consider the global population of nearly 8 billion, many of whom use disposable razors on a regular basis, we have to assume that the problem of razor waste is a very serious issue indeed!

So, if using disposable razors and cartridge blades is so bad for the environment, why did we start using them in the first place?

Well, in the early 1900s, Gillette introduced safety razors, a type of razor that worked just as well as a cut throat, but protected the user from the sharpness of a razor blade. The problem was that safety razors are made from high-grade stainless steel and they typically last a lifetime. Not ideal for a company driven by profits! With that in mind, Gillette introduced the disposable razor in the 1970s, and has continued to evolve new models ever since, pushing consumers to more expensive alternatives that promise a “closer shave”.

What other shaving options do I have to choose from?

If you’re shaving at home, generally speaking you have three main options to choose from:

1. Disposable razors
2. Safety razors
3. Electric razors

Which option is the cheapest and how do I save money?

In order to work out the cheapest option, we need to break the costs down into two categories:

- Upfront costs
- Ongoing costs

Upfront costs

Disposable razors: A typical starter pack, including a quality razor base and 10 cartridges currently costs £22.99 on Amazon here.

Safety razors: Safety razors vary in price depending on the style and brand that you choose, but a mid-range safety razor costs around £17.99. You can check out this bamboo razor to see an example. and you can purchase a pack of 100 quality blades for just £5.99 here.

Electric razors: Although there are cheaper ones available, based on reviews and how long the razor is stated to last, we think that this Phillips razor is the best deal for £59.99 at the time of writing. You can find it here.

So, when looking at upfront costs, disposable razors and safety razors are roughly the same price. The difference is that when you purchase the safety razor and blades combo that we recommended, you’ll receive 100 blades instead of 10!

Ongoing costs

Disposable razors: The latest Gillette Fusion blades cost a staggering £21.00 for a pack of 5, equating to £4.20/per blade.

Safety razors: A pack of 100 blades on Amazon costs £5.99, just £0.059/per blade.

Electric razors: It’s generally recommended that you replace the razor head once per year. A new head costs £28.00 approximately. We’re going to ignore electricity costs as electric razors are generally quite energy efficient and it’s a tough one to work out!

Given that each safety razor blade should last around 5-10 shaves, a pack of 100 blades should last even the hairiest customer a few years, making the ongoing costs associated with safety razors far far cheaper than disposables or electric razors.

Looking at even the most conservative cost comparison, the results are clear. Using a disposable razor is not only bad for the environment, but it’s bad for your pocket too! And whilst using an electric razor is certainly not a bad option in terms of environmental impact and cost savings, at £5.99 for 100 blades, the ongoing cost of equipping your safety razor is almost absurdly low!

Are all of these options unisex?

Saving money is important, but are there options for both genders or are safety razors restricted to just male users? What about electric razors, can women use them too?

Electric razors come in all kinds of shapes and sizes including for women. You can find the best selection of electric razors for women right here.

Safety razors on the other hand first became popularised when they were used by the US army and sadly over time a misconception has developed that they are solely for men! This is entirely untrue and we’re happy to report that not only can women use safety razors, but there are some companies that have developed safety razors for women. Razors that are specially designed with a lighter and longer handle, more suited for shaving legs than stubble!

First time using a safety razor? We’ve found a fantastic guide running through how to use a safety razor. We’ve also found this awesome video tutorial too!

How do I get started?

Keen to start shaving some pennies off of your monthly razor bill! If you’ve decided that electric razors are the way to go, you simply need to pick a razor and away you go!

To help out, here are some guides:

Women’s buying guide
Men’s buying guide

If you’ve opted for a safety razor, all you’ll need is the razor itself and a pack of safety razor blades. And of course, you’ll need a shaving soap bar or cream!

Women’s buying guide
Men’s buying guide

And that’s it! We hope that this article helps you make the switch to a more sustainable (and cheaper) method of shaving! If you have any top tips for saving money shaving, let us know in the comments below!

Do you shave or remove hair? What method do you use? Would you consider using safety razors?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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