Super Moderator
(This post was last modified: 03-07-2016, 09:02 PM by Marko. Edit Reason: edit again )
There have been some members who have posted their concerns regarding cost of luxury soaps and creams on the The Very Best Luxury Soaps / Creams Where Money is No Object thread. In response to those concerns and in consultation with NeoXerxes we are starting this thread as a compliment to the Very Best Luxury Soaps/Creams thread.  That thread has grown into avery useful source of information thanks to the many contributors and thanks as well to NeoXerxes and his series of reviews which he is posting - if you haven't checked out the thread I highly recommend it.  Here is a link to that thread:

In any case, this thread will be dedicated to budget soaps and creams so I invite DFS members to post here on their experiences with cost effective solutions that provide excellent or at least tolerable results.  I think we'd also like to hear about some of the things members may have tried that may have resulted in, shall we say, sub-optimal outcomes.  Its always great to get a laugh at what some of us will try to save a buck or two.

We should also keep in mind that these will all be based on the subjective experiences of the members and that members posting here are the cost conscious among as and we will take being called cheapskates or tight as complimentsSmile

I'll kick things off, my first pucks of hard shaving soap several years ago were from the Ogallala Bay Rum line up - they currently sell for US$8.00 a puck on fendrihan and I must admit that they still have a regular spot in my rotation.  My favourites are the Bay Rum Lime & Peppercorn and the Bay Rum Sage & Cedar.  They lather very well if you take your time to build the lather and hydrate well.  If you rush the process you can end up with a drier lather without as much protection as you'd like.  The aftershave toners which are witch hazel and alcohol based are a pretty nice and inexpensive way to finish (US$17.00 for 8oz.).  I've seen some feedback over the years of people finding the Ogallala a bit irritating but I've not experienced it myself.  
So if keeping the cost of your shave down is a primary consideration you should consider giving Ogallala a go.
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(This post was last modified: 03-07-2016, 09:14 PM by NeoXerxes. Edit Reason: spelling )
Thanks for this brilliant thread Marko! I'm glad we now have a budget-minded and conceptually related topic that will complement the luxury soaps/creams thread. Together these two threads will cover a wide range of soaps/creams at different price points.

This thread will also give us the chance to explore the concept of value and the definition of a "budget soap". For instance, take two hypothetical soaps that are at different price points: Soap A is a "softer hard soap" at around $10 for 200g, while Soap B is a "hard soap" at $30 for 200g. Let us assume that Soap B will produce approximately three times the number of shaves as Soap A due to its hardness, density, and/or lathering properties. In our scenario, Soap A and Soap B are an equal value in terms of price per shave ($10 x n = ($30 x n)/3, where n is the number of shaves). Which, then, should be considered the budget soap? Do we go by price per shave or initial buy-in, or perhaps some combination of the two?

Interestingly, this difference in conceptualizing the meaning of "budget soap" will lead to different recommendations. Let's try to keep this in mind in order to avoid arguments on the subject, as it demonstrates the diversity of views on the definition of a "budget soap". Additionally, it should be quite clear that what is considered "affordable" will be different to every person.

I'll take some time to think about some recommendations for budget soaps. In the meantime, I look forward to reading the responses of others Smile.
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My number one is Stirling. Absolute best value for me. Mama Bear's, The Beer Soap Company, and Razorock would be my tier 2. I haven't tried any of the Italian Barber soaps, but I hear VERY good things about those too.
Head Shaver
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(This post was last modified: 03-07-2016, 09:38 PM by Hardtop01.)
Razorock Tuscan Oud. For the price and the scent, I could shave with that all day every day. Second is the Razorock Tripple X hard formula. Third is the B&M Latha, in particular Aqua. Everything else is priced in the $12-$20 range.

BTW you raise an interesting point, Razorock is IBs brand of soap but then Joe came out with a soap that is IB and not Razorock...if Joe is around maybe he could provide some insight? If you already have, my apologies.
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Vancouver, BC
(This post was last modified: 03-08-2016, 07:28 AM by celestino.)
I doubt you can find anything that will surpass Arko shave-sticks (*updated with Cella in brick form); very good performance for incredibly inexpensive prices.
However, these wouldn't be my first choices as I just don't enjoy the scents.

My preference would have to be Haslinger as I can get a puck for $5-6 CDN dollars if I order 6 or more pucks, at a time.
Furthermore, you don't need much soap to generate a very good lather and it is an excellent performer.
Love, Laughter & Shaving  Heart
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I'd have to go with Stirling, Dr. Jon's (2oz. tins), B&M Latha, and Mystic Water. All are $11 or under, and do a great job for me.
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Philadelphia, PA
I think stirling and B&M latha soaps are very nice. I'd also put arko sticks, palmolive cream, nivea cream and godrej creams in with this mix.
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
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San Francisco
(This post was last modified: 03-07-2016, 10:37 PM by onethinline.)
My first thought is the B&M Latha line, which is remarkably good for its price point (it would still be impressive if it cost more) and comes in a selection of likable, straightforward fragrances.

Also soon to mind are Proraso, Speick cream, and Arko (with the usual caveats about the scent).

I'll also jump in to make the case (and I doubt I'll be the only one to do so) that Martin de Candre, when taken on a cost-per-shave basis, is actually a budget soap, and one of the top performers at its per-shave price point. MdC requires little soap to make a great lather, and a jar lasts a very long time. Something to consider.
David : DE shaving since Nov 2014. Nowadays giving in to the single-edge siren call.
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Ferndale, MI
Mystic Water, Stirling, RazoRock/IB, *cougharkocough* would be my picks of those I've tried. I haven't had the joy of using B&M Latha series (yet), but have obviously heard good things.
- Jeff
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Scent aside, I'd take Arko over MdC.
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