The Razor Hack That Saves You Money And Fights Sexism, Sort Of

I've wasted at least $150 in my lifetime just because I bought adorable, pastel razors instead of the manly stuff.
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Laura Birek
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I've wasted at least $150 in my lifetime just because I bought adorable, pastel razors instead of the manly stuff.
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I don't know about you, but I'm sick of paying more for products just because I'm a gal. This so-called "woman tax" is everywhere, from haircuts to dry cleaning, and I just stumbled upon a new one: razor blade refills.

Recently, as I was fully lathered and sopping wet in the shower, I reached for my trusty Venus razor only to see I needed a new blade. My replacement blades, if I even had them, were hiding in a Pandora's box of bathroom crap under my sink, all the way on the other side of a slippery tile floor. Afraid to fall, break my neck, and become a cautionary tale for generations to come, I thought, I wonder if my boyfriend's blades would work. 

A full rack of the suckers were just sitting there, and I doubted he would miss one. Lo and behold, the dude's Mach 3 razors fit in my handle perfectly! And I dare say it gave me a closer shave.

It fits!

It fits!

Like a prospector striking gold in 1849 (but far less bristly -- thanks, Gillette!), I knew I had stumbled upon something big. Huge. Game-changing.

OK, hyperbole aside, this is actually a big deal, and I'm going to tell you why. I crunched the numbers, and those Venus blades cost anywhere from 49 cents to $1.02 more per razor than the Mach 3 kind. (Yes, I made a spreadsheet. What did you do today?)

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On average, comparing prices from Pricegrabber, Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, and Target, those Venus blades cost 69 (heh) cents more than a comparable men's version. That might not seem like a lot of cashish, but when you add it up, it starts to look like you've been cheated out of a fancy prix fixe dinner just because marketers think you'll prefer extremely sharp sheets of metal wrapped in pink plastic instead of extremely sharp sheets of metal wrapped in grey plastic.

Side note: Did you know that experts say you should change your razors after a COUPLE OF USES or else it's super gross, ladies? Let's just say, hypothetically, that I did not know this either, and, like most women, I only change my razor about once a month. 

Even so, that means I've wasted at least $150 in my lifetime just because I bought adorable, pastel razors instead of the manly stuff. That's $194.80 in men's dollars, if you consider the gender wage gap.

Messed up, right? Well, I'm here to save my sisters from the same fate. I have a suspicion that many different refills fit interchangeably, but it's an expensive experiment, and I've already thrown enough money at Big Razor. 

But ladies! In the name of feminism, go forth and try men's refill cartridges and report back. Lilly Ledbetter will be so proud.