Learning to cook is a daunting enough process -- then throw in the fact that most kitchen equipment is rather expensive, and you may be turned off by the idea completely! However, if you are brand new to the kitchen and looking to self-teach your way to culinary delights, you may want to consider mining garage sale resources for the budding chef, since getting things secondhand cuts a ton off the price and allows you to feel freer to use it without worrying about spills or mistakes.
It's very easy to walk into a bookstore, take one look at their cookbook section, and run away. Cookbooks are expensive, and nowadays it's often much more economical to simply use the internet to find a recipe you need. However, having a more durable resource that you can reference every thirty seconds when you've forgotten what ingredient comes next is much better for a beginner cook than having to run off to the computer while your food is burning on the stove.
Durable, cheap utensils are hard to come by. Generally, if you get kitchen utensils for cheap, the plastic is corroding before you know it, or you're watching the handle glue disintegrate before your eyes. However, when you buy kitchen utensils secondhand, you can often get a quality piece that has already held up in a kitchen for years, and at a very reasonable price. Shop garage sales if you need a new soup ladle or serving spoon, or anything in between.
When you're first learning to cook, you may not have a sense of how much food is more than you (and your guests) will eat. Therefore, you'll need some quality storage containers, such as Tupperware, to keep the leftovers in. Tupperware is very expensive when bought new, unless you're purchasing the knockoff brand stuff that tends to melt in the dishwasher, so buying it from a garage sale (and, of course, thoroughly washing it) is a great way to go.
Some kitchen appliances will be used every day for the rest of your life. Others, though, may get used once a year if you remember that it's lurking in the back of the cabinet. In case you never really use your appliances, buy them at a garage sale; that way, at least they were cheap and you didn't get ripped off on a new product that you ended up storing and forgetting!