The best way to get started learning to crochet is with a friend or tutor. They will notice your handicaps, like tension, how to hold the hook, omitting stitches east. If someone else, who knows to crochet properly can guide you, it is SOOOO much easier than learning the wrong way, creating false habits, because once you learn things the wrong way, it is hard to relearn things the right way and you probably want to produce items instead of just occupy your time with the activity of crocheting. In knitting it is even worse to observe how many needless motions and calisthenics people make to make a garment. You want to learn to crochet with the least fatigue to your hands, producing the maximum amount of crochet fabric in the least amount of time.
If you do not know anybody in your circle of friends you can learn from the Utube tutorials. Get a free Utube tutorial such as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6CY4woCU9E. You have to know not all tutorials are created well and there are many shortcuts and tricks, you can not learn from a tutorial.
You also need practice and have to get a good flow of stitches going. Once you find out you like crochet, I would suggest you take a class either online or even better by DVD like this:http://www.anniescatalog.com/detail.html?prod_id=101191&cat_id=344.
It helps to go to a local Meetup http://crocheting.meetup.com, where people gather to crochet and show you tips and hints for you to learn to crochet efficiently. Only a personal coach, who observes your way of doing things can help you become the best you can be. But be careful: In our country are soooo many people, who go to college, seek knowledge and pay big bucks for that. Realize this: You can only get to be as good at something as your teacher is. NO teacher can teach you more than they know themselves. Hope this helps to get you started. You will see: It is really fun. After you understand the little bit of the basics, the sky is the limit: You will be able to crochet ANYTHING!
I am very much for saving money and that is why I would suggest you start just with one hook size and matching yarn (on the label it tells you what is the correct hook size).
The next step is to find the ideal hook, you can work with. A matching hook helps you to crochet faster with the least amount of fatigue. I can not help you with this too much because every artist is different. But I suggest again: Go to a Meetup, a group of crocheters and exchange your hooks, find out what others use and try out their equipment. I myself have not found one company that makes ideal hooks in every size— yet. I use hooks from EVERY company for different materials. Maybe there is one out there by now. I have not looked because I have all my hooks from when I started to crochet as a kid in Germany. So you see, a good hook stays with you all your life and it well worth the investment.
Let me know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org