Inflation is eating relentlessly into household budgets and savings with astonishing speed. The Western world has never seen a cost of living crisis like this in living memory. In times like these, you will be looking to save money and cut back on unnecessary expenses wherever possible. One of the easiest and fastest ways to save money, is to change the way you shave – and here, I will show you exactly how to beat inflation with wet-shaving.
The official inflation rate in the United States for the month of June was 9.1% year-on-year, but those statistics are very much cooked up to make the inflation numbers look better than they really are. If you go by the old methodology, back before the mid-90s revision of the approach that the Bureau of Labour Statistics uses to compute these numbers, the true inflation rate is running in excess of 15% per year, and may well be as high as 20% by now.
This is nothing short of a disaster for men of all ages, especially those nearing retirement age. Inflation destroys savings, wipes out retirement plans, and puts a severe squeeze on household budgets, because wages rise (and fall) much more slowly than prices do, as a general rule.
In such an environment, you need advice that helps you save money and cut spending wherever possible. If you can get advice that also hits woke corporations that hate you, right where it hurts, then so much the better.
The Cost of Being a Normie
I created that graph more than 2 years ago to demonstrate the difference in prices between different components of a man’s shave. Even these numbers, though, do not provide a sufficiently detailed breakdown. It is worth seeing the actual numbers up close, so that you can understand just how big the cost differential is.
If you want to know how to beat inflation with wet-shaving, then you need to consider these differences very carefully.
The only area where cartridge shaving wins out, against wet-shaving, is in what economists call “sunk costs”. These are the one-time costs that you have to pay in order to engage in a specific activity. In the case of a cartridge razor, you simply need to buy a handle for the cartridges, which is actually quite cheap.
As I have pointed out before, for wet-shaving, you need to buy at minimum all of the following items:
- A safety razor, like the Muhle R89 closed-comb model;
- A razor and brush stand, such as the Bevel model;
- A badger- or boar-bristle shaving brush – there are many possible options, the Parker model is a good starting choice;
- A blade bank,
The total one-time cost of all of these items is about US$115, roughly speaking.
By comparison, a single Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor handle, with two refills, is only US$14.97.
Initially, then, you are paying 5-8 times more to begin your wet-shaving journey. But it is a grave error to believe that this is the end of the story.
When you buy a safety razor and a stand, provided you stick to sensible and well-trusted brands like Muhle or Merkur, these items will last you for YEARS – possibly even decades, if you take good care of your equipment. A plastic cartridge razor handle, on the other hand, is merely a disposable item – subject to wear and tear and breakage, liable to be easily lost.
Likewise, a badger brush from a good brand will last for many years – these are quality products designed for discerning customers.
So the costs will amortise over a very long time horizon, meaning that your daily average cost is extremely low.
What about the annual costs of wet-shaving? How much do these work out to when you include the cost of razor blades, shaving soap, pre-shave and post-shave products? It is worth taking a look in more detail at these items. It is here that you will really see the difference in cost, and this will help you see how to beat inflation with wet-shaving.
A single tub of Proraso Pre Shave Cream, like the one you see above, will cost you about US$13 per unit. Using this is optional, but I highly recommend it, as a pre-shave cream will make your overall shave much more smooth and pleasant. In my experience, one such tub of cream will last roughly 40 days. Assuming that you shave every single day, then you will buy about 9 of these every year, give or take.
Each tub of Proraso Shaving Soap lasts an amazingly long time – 6 months, in my own personal experience. You will only need to buy at most TWO of these, every year. Each one costs, at present, about US$9.50.
The Proraso After Shave Balm product provides a relaxing and pleasant finish to your daily shave. It is a must-have product. In my experience, every unit lasts about 80 days, and presently costs US$16.00.
Safety Razor Blades
These are by far the cheapest and easiest items to acquire, but even here, there are huge price differentials between various products. The most expensive in the market, by a substantial margin, are the Merkur razor blades, which are quite pricey – but you can pick up a set of 3 packs of 10 blades each for US$20. Each blade will last you one week per side, for a total of 60 weeks’ worth of shaving. So you only need to buy one set.
If this is too expensive, and you don’t mind paying money to Gillette – even though they hate you – then a set of 40 Astra blades will set you back just US$6.03. Each Astra blade side lasts a week, from my own experience.
The good news with blades is that you can pick and choose whatever suits you best. You can try lots of different brands and stick to the one that you like the best. Razor blades are truly recyclable and easy to acquire.
My advice is not to go for the cheapest option, because that will inevitably be some cut-price Chinese brand that will result in a cut-price shave – which is to say, literal cuts and nicks on your neck. Stick instead to Swedish, German, or Japanese products wherever you can.
Adding It All Up
It is not difficult to calculate how much all of this comes to in one year. Here is a table that lays it all out for you:
|Product||Cost Per Unit||Purchases Per Year||Total Cost|
|Proraso Pre Shave Cream||13.00||9.13||118.71|
|Proraso Shaving Soap||9.50||2.00||19.00|
|Proraso After Shave Balm||16.00||4.57||73.05|
|Merkur Pack of 3 x 10 Blades||20.00||1.00||20.00|
The total cost for one year of all of that: US$231. That comes to just 63 cents per day in variable shaving costs, if you shave every single day.
Now let us compare this with the total cost of shaving with cartridge razor products. Let’s say that you buy Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide product line. This means that you will need to fork out for cartridges, shaving gel, and after-shave balm.
The problem here is that cartridge razors have very variable life spans. Some men find that they become dull after just a couple of shaves. Others claim that they can get a full month of shaving from them. My own experience is that each Fusion ProGlide cartridge is good for one week of shaving, on average. So I’ll stick with that.
Furthermore, Gillette’s shave gel is horrible stuff – it is a chemical paste that makes your skin all soft and lumpy, like bad pudding. And it runs out fast – one can lasts about a month, if that. So you will need to buy these frequently. And that is where the costs really add up.
The Gillette After Shave Gel is the cheapest, and lowest quality, out of all of these products. Each one lasts about 2 months, in my experience.
Using the latest prices from Walmart, we can put together a similar table showing the costs of a single year’s shaving:
|Product||Cost Per Unit||Purchases Per Year||Total Cost|
|Gillette Fusion ProGlide Shield Pack of 4 Cartridges||19.97||13.00||259.61|
|Gillette Fusion ProGlide Sensitive 2 in 1 Shave Gel||12.99||12.00||155.88|
|Gillette Sensitive Skin After Shave Gel||7.46||6.00||44.76|
That total comes to US$460, or US$1.26 per day, assuming daily shaving
Conclusion – The Numbers Don’t Lie
The difference is stark: traditional wet-shaving is HALF the annual cost of mass-market cartridge-razor shaving, once you amortise away the initial sunk costs. Switching your shaving method will save you money, give you better grooming results, and keep your product line very consistent. You will not have to constantly upgrade to more expensive products that are subject to the infamous “shrinkflation” that is so common today, where you pay the same price for less stuff.
If you want to save even more money, try using olive oil as your pre-shave lotion. It isn’t for everyone – doing so will cut down on the life of your razor blades significantly. But you will drop your daily cost of shaving down to pennies on average.
These hundreds of dollars are a small saving relative to the overall cost of living. But, in these hard times when inflation is destroying so much value on a daily basis, my guides, product reviews, and other information will show you exactly how to beat inflation with wet-shaving.