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Six products that cost more for women than for men

Is there a difference between soap for men and soap for women? Yes – women can pay up to twice as much for a bar of soap than men.

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    A girl rides in a shopping cart as her mother shops at a mall in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. Some products, such as soap and hairspray, can cost more if they are geared toward women than toward men.
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Have you ever noticed that men's versions of some products are really cheap compared to the women's versions? Sometimes the price difference reaches a whopping 50 percent! I'm talking things like soap, deodorant, shampoos, razors, and the like. If you're female (and not a picky shopper), it just may be worth your while to consider the following men's versions of these products.

1. Razors (Disposables and Refillables)

Razors from brands like Gillette, Schick, and Bic have models for both men and women. Aside from the pink and purple packaging, there is very little difference between them, except for price. In the example below, the women's version of the Schick ST Disposable Razor costs a few cents more compared to the men's alternative, even when buying in bulk. Save a few bucks and buy the men's version of razors — your legs won't know the difference, but your wallet will.

2. Shaving Cream

In terms of saving money with little noticeable effect, shaving cream is probably the best example of buying men's versions to save money. It's a product you only use for a couple minutes before washing off, with very little lingering odor. In other words, it's a highly disposable item, so if you're a female, why would you pay the huge markup associated with women's shaving cream? After examining a bunch of different brands, my example below is a fair representation of a top tier shaving cream for both sexes. Notice the women's version is several times the price — not worth it in my humble opinion.

3. Deodorant

Deodorant, also known as "pit putty" in my house, is another item where the women's version is noticeably higher in price than the men's equivalent. In my example, a pack of six women's Degree deodorants will cost you almost $4 more than the men's. If odor is an issue for you, and you're a female worried about saving a few bucks (but also concerned about smelling like Tom Selleck), then shop for odorless men's deodorants and antiperspirants. Besides Degree, other men's versions worth shopping for include Sure, Arrid, and Dove.

4. Shampoo and Conditioner

Women's shampoos and conditioners also have a premium price point when compared to men's versions. While not as radical a price difference as some of the other products listed here, it's still smart to consider men's hair products, or at the very least unisex shampoos and conditioners like Pert Plus and Head & Shoulders. The Dove shampoo example below showed a 20% higher price for a women's product.

5. Soap

Women's soap, with its higher perfume and moisturizer content, is usually significantly more expensive. As a matter of fact, it's twice as expensive in my example below. If you really don't care what your soap smells like, you should always buy a men's or unisex bar, as you'll save a big chunk of change over the course of an entire year. Let's say you use two bars per month — this would translate to just under $30 in savings in one year if you always opted for men's or unisex bars of soap. Pretty decent savings for doing very little.

6. Hair Spray

Hair spray marked for men is pretty darn cheap compared to the women's version. From Amazon, you can get a men's bottle that is about twice as big as the women's for darn near the same price. The women's variety is actually marked as "unisex," but I'm calling it a female product as the bottle is bright pink. It's the same brand as well, so we really are comparing apples to apples making the men's version a much smarter buy.

By keeping a keen eye peeled for men's versions of products that are cheaper, and do the same thing, you can definitely save some money. In many cases, you can also find unscented or "unisex" scented items if odor is an issue for you, making this a really smart way to save.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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