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Nicole, I never even thought to do that but it does make sense and it would save so much time, money, and cardstock!
I mat 90% of my pictures. If I mat one picture in a layout, I mat them all. It would look off-balanced to me to have 1-3 matted and the rest not matted. The 10% of the time that I do not mat is when I have too many pictures I want in a layout and I can't cut them down small enough to add matting to them.
I have rarely multi-matted but I want to do more of that (especially if I can cut down on my other matting by using the Sharpie idea).
I Mat if I want something within the pictures to pop out. I guess that would be focal point matting. I will mat just one picture and have done double mats like in my U/S picture for our new baby girl. I don't do it often but will if the occasion calls for it. I like matting for depth it can add. I don't mat on every page anymore although at one point I did.
another way to save some paper is to cheat and cut out the inside of the mat you're using. And then you have that smaller rectangle/square to use for something else. I use my exacto knife for this and it's come in handy especially if it's a paper I don't have much of and want to use for something else like letters, embellies, etc.