It’s been a pretty long time since we’ve posted anything that wasn’t directly food related, but I wanted to mention a frugal and more sustainable home tip that has been working really well for me recently. During the holidays, I stopped using a cartridge razor and switched over to an old-fashioned safety razor that I got as a gift. This is in addition to having switched over from cans of shaving cream or gel to bar shaving soap and a brush about a year back.

Environmentally, bar soap has a much lower environmental footprint as it both lasts far longer and necessitates far less packaging that shaving cream (or any liquid soap for that matter). My sense is that the safety razor should also more ecologically-friendly, since rather than dealing with the replacement cartridges that contain lots of plastic parts and extensive packaging, you’re just buying small boxes of paper-wrapped razor blades.

Frugally speaking, the bar and brush will save you some money over the long run after a relatively modest initial investment, but it’s the safety razor that really benefits your wallet. Instead of a 5-pack of Mach 3 cartridges that can run (here in Brooklyn) anywhere from $10 to $15 ($2-3 each), a pack of 50 double-edge razor blades for about $15 (30 cents each).

There is definitely a bit of a learning curve when starting to use the safety razor – it requires more technique than the extensively-designed cartridges. But after a couple mediocre shaves (and, yes, a few nicks), I have the hang of it now and am getting just as good a shave as with the cartridges. It also doesn’t really take much longer than using the cartridge razors.

On a sidenote, I was reminded to post about all this when I saw a really great design for a bar soap dispenser intended as a more eco-friendly alternative to liquid soap (while more hygienic than public bar soap by itself).


7 Comments on “Suds”

  1. Amber says:

    Very cool! I bought my boyfriend a shave-brush and soap for Christmas two years ago on a whim. He admits that at first he was like “uhhhhh, okay,” but it didn’t take long for him to fall in love with that method of shaving. I always hear him trying to convert his friends to it, which puts a little smile on my face. He hasn’t made the razor switch yet, but I think that will eventually follow as well.

  2. alicia says:

    Any idea where to buy one of those nifty bar soap dispensers? I also emailed the designer. Google search turned up nada. Thanks for the post!

    • P says:

      I got the idea somewhere that these were design prototypes and that the dispensers were not necessarily in commercial production yet. If you find out otherwise, let us know!

  3. AJ says:

    Another way to use bar soap is to buy a bottle of foaming hand soap. Once you’ve used the initial product up, shave a couple tablespoons of your favorite soap with a grater, put that and some warm water in the bottle and voila. You can use those bottles forever almost!

  4. Tammy says:

    My husband has been using the old razors for well over a decade now. He says he dulls the cartridge ones after one shave with his super coarse beard. The blades can be hard to find though, he just ordered a bunch over the internet.

  5. Jean says:

    Here’s another little tip for both the men and the ladies for another alternate to shaving cream/soap – cheap hair conditioner. It softens the hair (imagine that!) and the razor glides over it with much less resistance. Blades last longer and a little goes a long way! Try it – you will be boggled. My husband has a lot of very coarse facial hair and it works like a dream.

  6. Andy says:

    The trick is to dry the balde after using.
    It is the water the blunts the blade, not coarse hair
    Try it.
    Each balde can last six months or more!!

    What a saving

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