Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saving on Shaving

It's summer time!  Know what that means?  I have to shave my legs more often!  Crap!

I love summer.  I really, genuinely do.   Partially because I'm a teacher.

I love the grilled dinners, the time with family, the fun activities, the sun, the sun, and the sun.

Unfortunately, it means wearing shorts and skirts all the time, and since my number of maxi skirts is sadly limited, I really do have to shave my legs more than once a week.

The problem with shaving:  For years I have been using a Gillette Venus Divine.  Unfortunately, the cartridges for those (and any other cartridge razors) are getting stupidly expensive.

Yeah.  And this was the BEST price I found.

You read that right: $21.99 for 8 cartridges.  That's $2.75 per cartridge.  There's got to be a better way.

So, since these are so whomping expensive, I've been trying to make do with cartridges well after they've lost their usefulness.  This means nicks, cuts, and poor shaves.

Poking around Reddit, I came across someone with a similar problem.  Redditors referred that person to a subreddit called Wicked Edge.  It's a subreddit (post board) entirely dedicated to shaving.


Seriously?  Like in Mad Men?

I couldn't find a picture of him shaving, but whatev.  It's still Jon Hamm.

But aren't those razors hard to use?   Wouldn't I cut myself badly?  Don't I have enough scars from the children?

So, I went back and forth on this for a while before stumbling across a double edge razor while cruising this really cool vintage shop here.  It was in good shape and only $14, so I went for it.

Look!  It's a crummy picture of an awesome razor!

STEP 1: Clean the razor!  This took a bowl of water, Dawn dish soap, and vinegar for 10 minutes, then a good blasting with the sprayer from my kitchen sink, and a rinse with isopropyl alcohol for good measure.

STEP 2: Blades.  I'll admit - I crapped out on this.  You can buy really nice blades online for super cheap.  This page on Amazon is an easy place to start.  If you take a look, you'll see that blades range from about 45 cents down to about 8 cents.  I got a pack of generic blades at the drug store - 10 for $5.

That's 50 cents a blade.

Please take a moment to compare that to $2.75 per cartridge.

Yeah.  That.

STEP 3:  Prep for shaving.  Take a hot shower - bring the razor in with you.  You will get a better shave with warm skin and a warm razor.  Apply a nice shave cream (or cheap hair conditioner).

STEP 4:  Shave.  It's not the same as shaving with a cartridge razor!  The head is fixed, so be mindful of the angle.  To avoid cuts, don't press too hard - just let the weight of the razor do most of the work.  It might take more than one pass.

STEP 5:  Sit back and admire.  I found that this method gives a closer shave, and leaves my skin in better shape than it has ever been.

Oh, and nope.  I didn't cut myself.  Which is pretty much a miracle given my record of self injury.  Yay!


  1. I will have to try this! I like saving money any way I can! I use my disposable razor for a few weeks so my pack of them should last me the summer. I'll try it when I'm out though :)

    1. Let me know what you think! I've been shaving this way for a couple of weeks now, and I'm not likely going back. I found an unopened Venus cartridge in the back of my drawer, and I have no desire to use it. My skin feels and looks better shaving this way. :)

  2. I'm looking into saving some money in this area too. Was downgrading to two blades still so much more expensive? I'm addicted to my quattro and buy blades at Sams. I also looked at dollarshaveclub(dot) com. That might be a way to go too.

    1. I was really stunned to see that even the "cheaper" cartridges were still pretty expensive - even at BJs or Walmart (don't know for certain about Sam's). Let me know how Dollar Shave Club works out for you!