Imagine... You just bought an embossing heat tool and are anxious to use it on a layout for your wedding scrapbook. Are you going to give it a test run on fancy paper that cost you $1.00/sheet? Of course not, that's what scrap paper is for! You can use those small pieces of excess cardstock to test out edging scissors, die cut machines, stamps, chalks, paints and inks.
We are firm believers in the saying, "measure twice, cut once". Often used by carpenters, it can apply to just about any other craft, especially scrapbooking. You wouldn't cut into an expensive piece of paper, if you aren't quite sure exactly what size it needs to be. So, take some scrap paper and create your own layout template system. There's no need to spend $60, $80 or $100 dollars on a store bought version, when regular old cardstock will do the trick. Just cut out various shapes to represent the pictures and some basic scrapbook elements (paper strips, mats, etc.) and you're on your way.
Save those scraps of fancy patterned paper, and even good quality cardstock, to create your own embellishments. You can use small pieces of paper to cover a piece of chipboard, create a frame or die-cut shape or mat stickers for a title.
No matter how insignificant it might seem at the time, even the smallest pieces of paper could be used in another layout, especially if it's a basic color that you use on a regular basis.