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How I shaved off hundreds of dollars a year

Sometimes you don’t realize the things you can save on until their staring right at you, right under your chin.

My wife had been pressing me to buy an electric razor for quite some time. I had used my dad’s 10 year old flat Braun razor and hated the thing. Nothing against Braun, just that particular one yanked at my facial hair and barely cut. And I think that’s probably the impression most guys have of electric razors. Gillette estimates that more than 1.3 billion men worldwide shave with a blade and razor while only 400 million shave with an electric.

But save me the cuts. I have somewhat sensitive skin. I’d get through one out of every 3 shaves without a cut on my face and I just about had it. Razor in one hand and a styptic pencil in the other, to stop the bleeding (I’m not even sure they sell those anymore). And it wasn’t always the cheapo razors either (I tried those many times and always came out looking like a cat clawed my face). I’ve tried the Mach3’s and the Schick’s, and all the newest ones at the time. That was, until I found this one.

But it took some convincing

My wife finally convinced me in-store, threatening to buy one for me for Christmas, if I didn’t. Ha! I really didn’t want to fork out $120 for a stupid electric razor that wasn’t going to give me a clean-enough shave. What’s the point? But that’s exactly what I did – a brand new Philishave razor with 3 rotating blades. And it’s been one of the best purchase decisions I didn’t make. I do still keep some razors around for the very special occasions when I need a super clean shave (I’m still waiting for it), but it does a pretty good job. In fact I really don’t notice the difference and I can finally shave, cut-free.

That was almost 9 years ago! I will admit, the blades are getting a little dull, and since the replacement blades are about half the cost of a whole new unit now, it’s more cost-efficient to just buy a brand new one. Besides it’s falling apart.

But now there’s no more need to buy any expensive disposable razors and shaving creams/gels. Now I just plug in my electric razor and I’m ready to go (or with one quick charge it functions as portable battery-operated razor for those times when I’m on vacation and they don’t have my voltage – very handy!). No hassle, little mess and pretty easy to clean. In his lifetime, a guy will spend almost six months shaving, so it may as well be comfortable.

Shaving for savings: what it would have cost me today

I’ll admit I didn’t really think a seemingly expensive electric razor would save me anything. But when you think of all the:

  • Disposable razors you buy and replacement blades. The Mach3’s I used to buy, I just priced at my local Wal-Mart, which always seemed to have the lowest prices on razors (and I didn’t always get them there). A 5 pack of replacement blades for $14.49 + tax or $29.98 for 12. The actual razor was $12.49.
  • How long they actually last? Considering I shave every two days and would usually stretch my disposables to 3 uses max before they’d pluck enough hairs that I just had to throw them out. So at 3 uses, that’s 60 blades per year or five 12-packs.
  • And add the shaving cream/gel.  Which you can probably find a cheap can for a few bucks.

But add that all up – $149.90 (12 pack x 5) for the razor replacements, plus $12.49 for the handle, $18 ($3 x 6) for the shaving gel (estimating about one can every two months). That’s over $180 before taxes per year or about a little over $1800 over the past nine years. Compare that to the $120 I got for my electric razor 9 years ago. Yes I paid a little up front, but it’s well worth the savings and it pays off in less than one year. So do your research and pick one up today.

Update October 2013: Although my electric razor still hasn’t failed me, I was just gifted a new one a couple of months ago. I got another Philishave razor that retails for about $100. But this one has Aquatech technology, which allow you to shave wet and dry. I never shave wet, but it allows you to rinse the entire inside for cleaning, which is a HUGE timesaver. It’s quieter, delivers a cleaner shave and if you come across one, I highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed.


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