Random tips for new players:
1- If you know someone who works in any industrial areas (construction, plumbing, carpentry)- hit them up for your tape measure. A lot of contractors literally give away pocket-sized tape measures with their business information on them.
2- If you're in the market for a table, look into used ping-pong tables. Ask at a recreation center if they have one they're trying to get rid of, because chances are they have one that's not 'game-worthy' any more. I was able to score one for $30.00.
3- Dice Game Depot sells 100 multicolored dice for ~$20.00. Anywhere you can buy bulk dice, go for it. You can never have too many, and if they're different colors- that's great.
4- Carrying cases are great. If you can't afford that, then learn to cut some foam and get one of the $20.00 DeWalt Toolboxes from Wal-Mart. Eggshell mattress foam works good for miniatures, too. As a matter of fact- in a pinch, egg cartons can do just fine for individual troops.
5- Carry a notebook. Seriously, I do this all the time. Write names of people you play with that were cool (and the bad ones, too), jot down rules you aren't familiar with, do your maths, take notes on the strengths and weaknesses of other armies/units, create a 'need' list, track game information, etc.
6- When you can, bring some drinks. Offering an opponent a water or soda tends to make a good impression and keep you as 'that pretty nice guy'.