Russian Wisdom: The Greedy Man Pays Twice, Especially for Razors

I’m not sure that this is the correct translation, but “the greedy man pays twice” or maybe “the cheap man pays twice” is something I’ve heard a couple of times while in Russia. My wife says it to me because I am always looking for the best price per unit. I know there’s something to be said for quality, but most of the time, the quality of an item isn’t worth the price increase.

I needed some razors the last time we were at the store. Normally, I buy blade refills for one of the three razor handles I own. This time, I saw they were all between 1200 and 1500 rubles for four or five blades. Disposable razors were 10 for 300 rubles or four to five times cheaper for twice as many razors. They’re terrible for the environment, but I’m on a budget – 30 rubles for a name-brand razor? That’s like 45 cents vs. $1.20 based on the last time I exchanged money. These weren’t the cheapest razors available, but they were close. I got them because they had a lubricant strip. So, I put the cheap razors in the cart.

Five or six days ago, I started using them. The first day, I cut myself, and I figured it was because I wasn’t used to the razor. The second day, I cut myself, and my wife asked if I should just go buy the razors that fit my blade. The third day, I cut myself badly enough that I needed to apply pressure to stop the bleeding. The fourth day, it didn’t get any better. I tried with shaving cream and without. I tried being mindful about the shaving, nothing worked. Last night, my wife looks at me and says, “I’m not going to ask how your shaving went, I can see you cut yourself.” Sure enough, I had.

Yes, the greedy man pays twice: once in money, twice in blood. The only question that remains is should I pay a third time and get the expensive razor blade refills, or do I just keep cutting my face with cheap blades? (For more Russian adventures, check out my books, “The Adventures on the Amur.”