Best Smart Buys

Whether you need to purchase these online or not they are smarter options to some important things you use frequently and have been just buying the "store choices" all these years. Here are my Best Smart Buys picks. Many of these would reflect my needs of an aging single man but are broader than that actually. -Dennis

1. Old time Safety Razor

For three decades I have been buying cheap disposable razors. Well that is wrong for several years, going way back now, I have used electric razors.

The disposable razors I bought were Gillette, Good News, and the grocery store brands containing single and double blades. You would get 5 or 10 about in a pack to last you about a month. If you didn't shave for a week or so then it would take 2 razors to get you shaved!

I ordered this safety razor off and a box of razor blades and it is one of the best smart buys I ever made. This is like my Dad's (and my Mom's razors) I remember seeing in the 1960s growing up.

Once you pay the initial cost for the razor itself you spend less than 10 bucks a year on blades. I do not know why the other razors have the multible blades as this razor gives me the best shaves I ever had!

For the particular razor and blades I bought (You should shop around and decide on a brand yourself)- Safety Razor on   Razor blades on  You can also buy a vintage used Safety Razor off Ebay like your Father or Grandfather used!

2. Shaving Soap and Brush

It took me a year shaving with my safety razor before I took the next step into "old school shaving." I bought Williams mug shaving soap from the grocery store and an Omega Boar Hair Brush off

You put hot water in the mug with your soap and brush for about ten minutes, then pour the water out. You then in a circular pattern turn the brush to produce a lather in the mug and then brush it onto your face.

This is similar to buying a safety razor. Once you buy the brush- the soap is inexpensive.

3. A good Clock Radio

For decades I used an Emerson clock radio I purchased from a store like K Mart. I might have had a Sony Cube or something like that in the best years. I was mostly using these radios in the beginning simply as an alarm clock to get up in the morning to go to work.

Sometime in my late 40s I started not sleeping through the nights like I did when I was younger. Many people when they age develop this sleeping disorder. I know of several family members who cannot sleep at times at night.

I luck out in this instance in that I am single and can play a clock radio on my nightstand. It took me years of scanning through hard to get stations especially my AM Radio news station, etc... and listening to poor quality sound before something snapped one day. I thought in this mind opening moment that I listen to my clock radio over 3 hours per day and yet it is this lousy radio unlike my old stereo receiver which is of better quality. I went online to read reviews on "the best clock radios."

My new Sangean digital radio (Shop around for your choice)- Ahh station presets and way better sound! I also like the alarm which is set to go off everyday at 6 AM and I do not have to set it at nights.
Sangean Clock radio on   AM additional antenna at

4. Compression Socks

Do you have swollen legs at the end of a workday? Wear compression stockings (socks). I started wearing 15-20s after I injured my ankle and got a venous ulcer, but here I should have been wearing, with that condition 20-30s. They are graduated to help pull the blood back up your legs as your vein valves are no longer working as good as they once did. Look up the definition of a "varicose vein." It is not just a vein that protrudes from your skin surface but one in which the valves are getting shot.

If you have such problems and it is bad you need to see a Cardiologist, not just a Podiatrist or Dermatologist (swelling, eczema, or an ulcer). Anyhow I have tried many brands of compression stockings over the years such as Juno, Jobst, etc... and this is what I think is the best brand as they hold up well. I do not however put them in the dryer.
EvoNation Compression Stockings on

5. Orthodic Shoes

Online buying is a God send when it comes to odd sizes the chain stores such as K Mart, Sears, etc... do not carry in-store. And let us also mention quality. Do not buy cheap shoes or sneakers! The uppers should be of natural materials such as leather. I take a 14 wide shoe and Walmart was doing me okay but as you age another thing becomes important- the height in the toe area.

If you visit a Podiatrist you will see mostly elderly people with toenail funguses or many injuries due to pressure. Online I can pick orthodic shoes with a deeper toe area and choose how wide. I order size 14 4E for myself. As you age you might want to look into orthodic shoes. "Be good to your feet."

6. "Copper" Frying pan

I have a regular frying pan and later I bought a ceramic coating frying pan which worked less and less over a few years.

The Gotham Steel, or I guess a similar brand, but anyhow mine is a Gotham Steel 9.5" frying pan is amazing! This is a step beyond the regular ceramic pans. I can cook a can of corned beef hash with no oil in the pan until it is crispy. If you burn something just a regular washing removes the residue.

The next time you want to buy a frying pan, do yourself a favor and try one of these!

7. Chair Height Toilet

Most toilets really cater to a small child using them and are very low to the floor. I did not notice this so much until I bought my new chair height toilet. The old toilet, which I liked, would clog easily with double sheet paper. It probably dated to the 1950s or earlier.

When buying a new toilet I chose the KOHLER Memoirs 1.28-GPF White WaterSense Elongated Chair Height 2-Piece Toilet from Lowe's.

Once you go chair height you won't want to go back! I guess if you live in an apartment you could buy one of those thick seats.

Oh, with the elongated bowl on this toilet it will find uneveness on your floor and the wax seal will leak. Get a "waxless seal" made out of rubber which fits tightly in the drain pipe.