Few things are more irritating for both men and women as the act of shaving. Most of us are required to shave regularly in order to conform to our work place policies and societal norms.
I hate spending money on shaving. If I could get away with it, I’d only shave once a week. Unfortunately shaving has become increasingly more expensive in the last decade, leaving consumers to seek out new ways to cut costs.
Blame Gillette For Making Shaving So Expensive
Gillette introduced the Mach3 razor in 1998 after spending more than $750 million in research and development. They continued their practice of loss leader marketing where one item is sold at a steep discount (the Mach3) in order to increase sales of a complementary product (the disposable blades).
The blades used by Mach3 only cost a few cents to produce, but they sell for well over $2 each. This shows profit margins of over 4500% on Gillette razor blades. Since the Mach3 entered the market there have been new “innovations” which now consist of 4 and even 5 blade disposable razors.
The Gillette Mach3 razor sells for about $12 and comes with 2 cartridge refills. A package of 8 cartridge refills costs about $26. If you shave every day you can see how quickly the blades become dull and irritating. You can probably make a blade last for 2 weeks if you don’t mind a tougher shave the last few times.
Buying a new razor and then the cartridge refills every few months would likely end up costing you over $100/year. All of those recurring costs just to shave every day? There has to be a better way.
What Are Some Alternatives To Save You Money?
Consider buying a double-edged safety razor – The initial investment is a bit high (around $45) but the blades are dirt cheap (around 20 cents each). You can still use regular shaving cream, or for a bit more you can buy a brush and make your own lather to shave the old-fashioned way.
Sharpen your razor – Save money by making your blades last longer (up to six months according to the video). Just make sure to go up with the razor and not down like when you’re shaving.
Buy an electric razor – This option has the highest initial investment but the nice thing is that there are no recurring costs afterwards. A standard rotary shaver will cost you around $70, while the best rated electric shaver will cost up to $250.
Buy razor blade refills on eBay – You can find some bargains on eBay if you are willing to shop around or buy in bulk. Some packages of 8 were selling for half the normal price. Be aware though, razor blades are one of the most popular items for shoplifters to steal. If you are buying online, there’s a decent chance they were stolen.
Share with your spouse – The Mach3 blades are interchangeable with all of the other Gillette razors, including the Venus. Why buy his and her razors and cartridges when they essentially do the same thing? This way you can buy in bulk and save money.
Just don’t shave – Million Dollar Journey asked his readers to share the cheapest thing they’ve ever done. There were some interesting suggestions, including a few people who cut their own hair. However nobody mentioned that they’ve let their beard grow in order to save money. If you can get away with it, why not?
Economic times are still tough and people are looking for different ways to save money. For those of you who have to shave on a regular basis, do you find it expensive? What’s your shaving strategy?