Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Your New Shaving Buddy

Remember how there was a reader comment about wanting more tips about being green and saving money without being a hippy? Well, friends, that time has come! No, it's not time to talk about plumbing. It's time to talk about something we alllll have to deal with. Shaving!

Shaving is one of those necessary evils, especially if you're a female. Every morning, we have to shave our legs. Unless you're like me and go every other day and wear pants in the winter. (Don't worry, John is fine with it. Most of the time.) But that's besides the point.

Shaving is neither green nor frugal. The average consumer spends hundreds of dollars a year on disposable razor blades and creates an exorbitant amount of waste each year. It's estimated that two billion blades and their packaging are thrown out each year, resulting in two million pounds of plastic waste. Yikes!

But if I stop shaving, that'll make me a hippy, which wouldn't look very good in the workplace. And John definitely wouldn't like that. There's laser hair removal, but that isn't exactly cheap. So what's a girl (or guy) to do?

Enter the Blade Buddy!

The Blade Buddy is a groundbreaking, cost-saving, environmentally friendly product whose uniquely designed silicone pad maintains the sharpness of your disposable razor blades, so one blade gives you a close, comfortable shave for months, instead of days.

When the kind folks at Blade Buddy asked if I wanted to review their product, I was more than happy to oblige! 

Basically, every time you shave, the edge of your razor blade gets microscopically bent, rendering your blade "dull" after only a few uses. Gliding your razor up the Blade Buddy's micro-honing, grooved surface straightens the bent edge back into alignment, restoring the sharpness of your blade. Since I'm not an engineer, let's let this video do the talking:

After using the Blade Buddy and the same disposable razor blade for over a month, I'm pleased to give the Blade Buddy a positive review!

Though I had a few little learning points from my trial run. The first time I used the Blade Buddy was with a less than fresh razor, so I got a bit of razor burn. The website and instructions clearly say to start with a new razor blade, but I figured I'd try it out anyways. Lesson learned, start fresh to stay fresh.

Lenny, my buddy at Blade Buddy, has the following response to my feedback:
The Blade Buddy is really not meant to be used on old blades. While you may find it straightens them to some degree, the best results are found by using a new blade (or blade cartridge), and by using Blade Buddy as part of your regular shaving routine. What I have suggested to some people is to use a new blade until you are ready to discard it WITHOUT using Blade Buddy. This will give you a baseline on how long your blade normally lasts. THEN, start using the Blade Buddy religiously with your next new blade and you can truly measure the added life it gives.
Point taken, Lenny. Wish I had listened to you earlier.

I then switched to a new razor blade. After a few uses, I got some razor burn again. Is it possible that I "sharpened" to blade too much, bending the blade in the opposite direction? I'm not totally sure what cause the light razor burn that time, but all is well and good again. I seem to be getting the hang of it and haven't had any issues for the past few weeks. Just use a little bit of shaving cream to lubricate the pad and slide the razor 15 to 20 times up the silicone pad. Easy peasy.

Here's Lenny again:

As far as technique, I don't think I will do a better job in words than the instructions on our website does. My only pointers are to be sure to lubricate the rubber pad (I personally use soap and water), use light pressure when sliding the razor across the Blade Buddy, and to NEVER pull the razor, only to push it in the direction of the arrows. $20 towards a Blade Buddy worth it? I say yes! The product itself works well and so do the numbers:

A 4-pack of Gillette Venus original razor refill cartridges cost $10. Or $2.50 each.

If you use one cartridge each week, you're spending $10/month or $120/year on razor blades.

If you use the Blade Buddy and replace the cartridge each month (just to be conservative), you're spending $2.50/month or $30/year on razor blades. Using this math, the Blade Buddy will pay for itself after 3 months. Obviously results will vary based on how often you replace your razor blades.

The breakeven point will also vary because Blade Buddy is offering Fiscally Chic readers a special promotion!

Blade Buddy is offering a buy one get one free special to you (which is the same promotion they offered through  In order for that to happen, you should go to the Blade Buddy website, and order your first unit in accordance with the normal procedures.

THEN, go to the "contact us" link on their site, and send a quick note reiterating your name and city, and mentioning the special promotion code "Fiscallychic". They will ship you a 2nd unit free of charge. Just in time for Valentine's Day!

This 2 for 1 offer is active through the end of January 2012.

And for your viewing pleasure, here's one more video from Blade Buddy.

Happy shaving!

Full disclosure time: I was given a Blade Buddy to review for free. All thoughts and comments are my own.
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