For 6 bucks you can get a couple lbs of DME, for 2 bucks you can get an ounce of good hops. for 8 bucks you can get a pack of us-05, for 2 bucks you can get a gallon glass jug and another 2 bucks for a couple gallons of distilled water.
Some tubing to siphon into your bottles is also needed. While a racking cane and bottling wand aren't strictly necessary, they will make bottling a hell of a lot easier as well. If you don't have swing-tops (i.e., Grolsch-style bottles), then caps and a capper are needed as well. Bleach could be used for sanitization the first time around, but something like Star San or Iodophor is well worth the investment.
Other than that, what Mort lists above is pretty much all you need to put out a batch or two on the real cheap. You can even jury-rig an airlock by placing a balloon or condom (unlubricated - ribbing optional
) over the opening of the jug and prick a very small pinhole in it. If the balloon gets too full, the hole will open enough to let some gas out.
Here's a really simple recipe for a 6-pack batch of American Pale Ale to get you started that doesn't even require a scale:
1 lb Light Dried Malt Extract (DME) (I'd go with Light over "Extra Light" for this recipe, but either would work)
1 oz Centennial Hops
1 packet US-05 yeast
1 gallon Reverse Osmosis or Distilled water
Add 1 gallon of water to your kettle. As the water is heating, add 1 pound of extract and stir constantly until it is all dissolved. Once the water hits a boil add 1/4 of your hops (if you don't have a scale that can weigh hundredths of an ounce, you can just count the number of pellets and divide it that way). Set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the kettle from the burner. Once all signs of boiling have stopped, add the remaining 3/4 ounce of hops. Stir well until all hops are mixed into the wort (wort = unfermented beer). Let it sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, chill the kettle in an ice bath until it hits the low 60's (Farenheit). Carefully pour into your sanitized fermenter through a sanitized funnel. Sprinkle 1/4 packet of yeast (you can store the rest in the fridge - just tape it shut and put it in a ziploc baggie) on top and let it ferment in the low/mid 60's for two weeks. Transfer to bottles and add 1/2 tsp of table sugar to each. Cap and let sit warm for another 2-3 weeks for carbonation. Then enjoy the fruits of your labor.