For years I was cheap. I didn’t use actual printed targets unless they were free (which they often were in my LE days). Instead I used any blank surface and shot at paper plates, small dots, 3×5 cards, folded pieces of paper, whatever. Hey – they got the job done.
But not as well nor as efficiently as real printed targets. These have the advantage of wider variety in shapes, scoring zones, and colors, and they come in geometric, photo-realistic and semi-realistic patterns. In short, they are better tools for training specific skills.
What I missed all those years was just how inexpensive real printed targets are. But 100 of them and they are like 30 cents each. Hell, every time I pull the trigger on a 9mm pistol I’m spending 30 cents! So yeah, they are so inexpensive, in context, that it’s foolish not to use them.