Shave and save

Shaving is something that most people have a love-hate relationship with.  We all love to hate it.  Society deems it a necessity (to a certain extent), and therefore we’re forced to spend time, money, and inevitable pain (don’t pretend that you’ve never nicked yourself) to give ourselves perfectly smooth “baby’s-butt” skin.

I used to dread shaving every morning, and would see it as one more thing that I had to rush through before I could get out the door.

Notice the past tense.

Thanks to a discussion with my barber, I recently decided to make the jump from a multi-bladed razor to an “old-school” single-bladed safety razor.

Greatest.  Decision.  Ever.

I expected the process to be less of a drudgery and more of a luxury, but a welcomed surprise was how much money I’ve been able to save.

I’ll go over the actual shaving process in another post, but for now let’s look at the numbers.  Assuming that users shave daily, here’s how everything plays out:

“Gillette” Method

A quick “Gillette” search on Amazon shows me that their most popular products are in their “Fusion” series.  For the sake of the argument, we’ll use their basic manual razors, and not the pro-glide or “power” razors (both of which are more expensive).

Fusion Razor

Fusion RazorsWhen you consider that most cartridges last roughly a week (just going off of prior experience), this means that we’ll need 52 cartridges over the course of a year.  Keeping in mind that when you purchase a razor it typically comes with 2 cartridges, this means that we’ll need to buy 50 on our own.

50 (the number of cartridges we need) ÷ 12 (the number of cartridges in a pack) =

approx. 4 packs needed

So our total cost for a year is:

1 Razor ($9) + 4 packs of cartridges ($40 a piece) =

$169 a year

Keep in mind, that’s the LOW END of what you’d be spending since we went with the base model razor and rounded some of our numbers down.

Old-school safety razor

You typically have to purchase a safety razor separately from the blades.  I use a Merkur 34C razor, which currently lists at $44.

Merkur Razor


The blades can be purchased in packs of 100 for $18.

Astra Razors


Most razors last anywhere between three and five shaves.  Some people use a new razor for every shave, but I personally think that’s overkill. For the sake of the argument, let’s say that someone replaces their razor after every three shaves.

365 (the number of days I shave each year) ÷ 3 (the number of days that I use a single razor) =

approx. 121 razors needed

Since each pack includes 100 blades, that means we’d need two packs of razors (and would have 79 leftover for the next year).

1 Razor ($44) + 2 packs of blades ($18 a piece) =



So the “Gillette” method has us paying $169 a year on the low end, and the old-school method has us paying $80 a year on the high end.  That means you could buy two sets of old-school razors and blades and still spend less than what you would for one set of “Gillette” razor and blades!

When you think of it that way, making the switch is a no brainer.

Next time I’ll show you how to use the safety razor to actual shave (and not just save you wads of cash).



Mr. Fox