By getting yourself familiar with local prices and offerings you will have a much easier road to go when negotiating and when trying to spot the house that suits your budget and you will save time knowing beforehand the type of home that you can afford.
One way to do this is by picking up the free real estate magazines offered at local grocery stores. You can also visit your choice(s) of sites such as Realtor.com, Remax.com or Long & Foster.com to see photos, neighborhood, and pricing info or get in contact with an agent/Realtor.
Get yourself familiar with the features and style of home that you are looking for in your price range. This will show you what you can or can't afford so that other people such as your agent/Realtor won't have to have "the talk" with you about what you can and can't afford.
I would not recommend foreclosures to someone who doesn't have a hefty reserve for repairs or to people who haven't purchased a home before. Foreclosures can have expensive hidden problems that easily turn the home into a money pit. I have seen 2 people's reserves completely blown away by hidden problems in foreclosures they bought without ever being able to look inside.