A "cheap and easy" fix to a dilemma can be a bad idea. That's not the case with hair removal creams. They're very affordable (much more so than, say, electrolysis), so if you don't like a product, you haven't wasted much money. It's also quite easy to apply cream or lotion and then wipe it off after a few minutes, and it shouldn't be painful if you follow directions. (The same can't be said for waxing.)
The effects of chemical depilatories last longer than shaving (about a week) but not as long as waxing.