make sure you get copies of your pictures don't use the originals, mistakes do happen!
if you have a scanner it's a great way of scanning pictures and then editing them till you get them as you want them and if you can print at home that is even better.
use brads or quicklets to attach items to the page saves on glue!
use mulberry paper as matting for pictures, it is very effective
if you think you might want to change the layout then use repositional glue or glue dots
make sure everything is acid free this includes pens you use for journalling, although I don't panic with this as long it's not next to the photographs
personally I prefer 8 x 8 scrapbooks as you don't need to fill up as much room and they are best for beginners
not tried this yet but if you wanted to do another album the same then why not scan in the pages and then print them out and simply glue into an album, saves a lot of work!
to make it cheap use free printable sites for eg scrapbookscrapbook.com
If you are a card-maker you will already have much of the stash you need. I think the most important item is a really good printer so you can print your own papers and photos.
Here are pages of my current album of my dog (she died a year ago) I bought a mini cats and dogs album and flair designs papers from Rae's Scrapbook Station . I made it simple by just using words to fit the pictures from the paper.
I did these pages for my niece as a gift
I used free printables for a couple of pages from scrapbookscrapbook.com
You could even make your own album buy a blank album from ebay and decorate the front as you wish. I did this one for a friend who had a baby girl, I left the pages blank for her to use as a photo album or to scrapbook herself.