There’s a fine line between being frugal and being a cheapskate. It’s one thing to find a healthy markdown on a quality suit for work; but quite another to buy a cheap one that looks awful and doesn’t last a season. There’s also something to be said about making wise decisions for your budget: splurge on the fancy dinner and theater date for your significant other, but invite the guys over to watch the big game at home instead of buying tickets for the stadium.
That’s why we have to make smart decisions about spending big bucks on grooming products. We’re not saying you shouldn’t — sometimes that fancy, exfoliating mask is the only thing that gives your face that healthy glow and that pomade from your bro at the barber shop is all that keeps those hairs under control. But let’s face it, there are many high quality products that can be found down the aisles of your local grocery store, pharmacy chain, or online retailer that do the job for a lot less.
Go ahead and splurge on the product you really love, but save a few pennies here and there on potions and lotions that do a great job at a great price. The best part is, for a little bit of money, you can try a few things out and toss ‘em if they really aren’t up to your exacting standards.
Here are a few of our favorite budget grooming finds that are just a few paces from the pharmacy, the produce department, or the guy pushing the little samples of heat-and-eat dinners. Mmmm.
Bulldog Beard Care Kit – $15
For a mere fifteen bucks you get a one ounce bottle of beard oil (with aloe vera, camelina oil, and green tea to soften and tame that fur), nearly seven ounces of beard shampoo and conditioner, and a beard comb. It’s one-stop shopping to keep those bristles from getting too bristly.
Trader Joe’s Moisturizing Cream Shave – $11
In between sampling single-origin coffee and chicken tikka masala, stock up at the Trader Joe’s toiletries section, where you’ll find high-quality products at a great price because they’re bought direct from suppliers. We love the moisturizing shave cream because it goes on soft and smooth (without drying) and it smells like a breakfast smoothie.
Harry’s Men’s Razor – $10
Speaking of good deals. Harry’s made a name for itself when it went head-to-head with the leading razor companies, creating a nicely designed razor and disposable blades all at a fair price. You can set up a subscription service online, but why bother when you can snag ‘em at Target and Walmart! Now that’s sharp accounting.
Olivina Exfoliating Bar Soap – $5
Olivina soap sloughs off the dead weight of dead skin with the added benefit of a bourbon and cedar fragrance that will have you dreaming of late night cocktails in the desert. Its sustainable palm oil, red kaolin clay, and ground olive stone ingredients keep your skin fresh, clean, and healthy.
Dial Hair + Body Wash – $6
We love anything that can save a step in the morning. Grab this pump bottle of Dial Hair + Body Wash to speed up your shower. No bottles to open and the two-in-one product means one less thing taking up precious shower space. It has advanced hydration and a fresh scent, so you may even be able to skip moisturizing and cologne for the day. Look…there’s time for another cup of coffee!
Lubriderm Lotion Post Shave – $8
Speaking of saving space, time, and money, assuming your skin’s still a little dry after that shower, Lubriderm’s 3-in-1 not only incorporates body lotion, face lotion, and a post-shave moisturizer, it also includes soothing aloe and minerals. Two more bottles scooped off the bathroom counter. Now there’s more room for your girlfriend’s or wife’s stuff. Who knew budget grooming could smooth things in your love life, too?
Dove Men+Care Hair Styling Controlling Gel – $13
For just under five bucks, Dove’s gel will keep that mane under control without emptying your wallet like the fancy salon brands. It’s perfect for a wet look, with a strong hold and control that lasts all day. It’s alcohol-free too, so it won’t dry your hair if used every day.
But these aren’t the only great grooming products you can get on a budget; there’s also Cerave, the cult-favorite skincare brand that you can get anywhere from Walmart to Walgreens.
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- The Manual Grooming Awards 2022: The Absolute Best Grooming Products for Men
- Grooming Journals: Luke DiTella’s World-Inspired Skincare Routine