I haven't read the other posts, so forgive if i'm saying what everyone else is. But I do with my cheaper papers exactly what you said - die cut and layer.
I also do a lot of organizing my supplies; for instance, I'm currently (and will be for awhile, it's a slow process) making a sample book of all my dies. The cheaper paper is perfect for this. Along those same lines, I made binder rings samples of all of my embossing folders; used the cheap paper for those too. I figure it saves me $s over using the nicer papers for those purposes.