I don't know why it came to mind, but it seems it's time for an update on my shaving experiences. You can find all my posts on the topic here. To recap, a bit more than three years ago, I became interested in simplifying. When cartridge razors got to five blades, it became ridiculous enough to me to react. I bought a used Gillette Superspeed on EBay, one of those butterfly opening ones, and picked up blades at Walmart. When I moved to Washington, the box the Gillette was in got misplaced, and I bought a Merkur Classic, with comb edge for heavy beards. I also order a box of 100 Turkish Derby double edge blades for $25 online.
Now, three years later, I still have some Gillette Fusion blades that are now over 3 years old I haven't used. I'm just finishing up the box of 100 Derbies. (I have about 10 blades left.) The Gillette Superspeed reappeared. Once when I was shaving with it, it opened up a little bit, not enough for me to see, but enough to make the shave be a bit bloody. Since then I've stuck with the Merkur. My technique has gotten to the point where shaving cuts are rare (maybe once every couple of months), and shaving with the Gillette Fusion is by comparison uncomfortable. I use it once in a while, since I have the blades, and I figure sometimes I just want to shave quickly without being so careful. It's not much quicker, though.
I've been using Trader Joe's Honey Mango Shaving Cream. This is as much because my family objects to any unfamiliar scents, and they are used to this one. In the shower, I spread the cream on with my hands. At the sink, I wash my face and head with hot water, and then spread on the shaving cream with a shaving brush. I use many short strokes, stroking the same area repeatedly until the blade slides smoothly across my skin. I used to try to keep track of how long I had been using a blade. Now, when the blade feels like it is pulling to much, I change it out.
The cost savings have been considerable. I have a heavy beard, and I shave my head nearly as often as my face. I've probably saved about $250 over the last 3 years, maybe more. If I get lazy, and let my beard go a couple of days, it's OK now, the double-edge doesn't mind, and doesn't get clogged the way the cartridge blade would. This experiment has been a decided success.