What’s the frugalest razor choice?
(Photo: Unsplash, Patrick Coddou)

There’s been a lot of talk lately about various ways to save money on shaving products. There is a good reason – shaving can be expensive. Depending on whether you’re using disposables or refillables, the number of blades, and other features, plus how often you shave, you could easily spend $200-$300 each year, per person.

Subscription services and wholesale buying can reduce those costs, but military members have a secret weapon to keep their costs down: the Exchange Select brand.

My husband uses a razor like the Gillette Mach 3. Refill cartridges cost $22.49 for 10 cartridges at our local civilian grocery store, just under $2.25 each. They’re a little less expensive at the commissary, but not much. Prices are all over the place at the Exchange, depending on how many you buy and what sort of sales are happening, but generally they run more than $2.00 each.

A similarish-blade from the subscription services is about $1.50. And if you go to the most popular wholesaler (who is reported to make the cartridges for the most popular shave club), a comparable cartridge is about $1.26 when it is on sale.

The Exchange Select brand are $5.99 for 8 cartridges – that’s just 75 cents each!

Obviously, there are a million ways you could do the math: most expensive option vs least expensive option, second cheapest option vs. cheapest option, most popular option vs. cheapest option. Because it’s the hot thing, I’m going to compare the subscription services vs. the Exchange Select brands. Using one cartridge per week, on this already moderately priced razor, you would save over $30 a year using Exchange Select brands. Multiply that by our family of six, and you’re looking at $180 in shaving savings.

Your specific shaving tools may have larger or smaller savings with the Exchange Select brand. Check out the prices next time you’re in the store, or look at the website. (The AAFES website has a much better selection than the NEX.)

*Note: when I’m feeling extra organized and watching the couponing websites, I often find disposable razors for free or almost free. That’s obviously cheaper than even the Exchange Select brands and might work for some people in your family.

Saving a small amount on most items can be just as impactful as saving a large amount on only one item. Ideally, you’re doing both. For expenses that you have every week or month, figuring out the best deal is a good way to keep more money in your pocket.

By Kate Horrell,

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