Tip #1- Shop the whole year through. If you see something at a good deal in June, buy it! You can save gifts in a bin and then when the occasion arises, you already have a present!
Tip #2- Think of the person's interests (a given!), then try to think of something that person doesn't have in that category. I find that DVD's or coffee table books on that subject are always good ideas.
Tip #3- Shop the Walmart $5 DVD bin! I have found great movies in that bin, both as gifts and for my family.
Tip #4- Create a gift budget then stick to it! That cannot be stressed enough.
Tip #5- Buy your packaging supplies at All-A-Dollar or a Dollar Tree Store. I always get my boughs, ribbon, containers, etc. at All-A-Dollar for my neighbor/friend/coworker gifts.