For a very beginner, you can use two unopened bottles of water as hand weights. They are usually 16.9 oz. which would be equal to using a set of 1 pound hand weights.
I would suggest that you visit garage sales and check places like Wal-Mart, Target, and sporting goods stores for hand weights though. The lighter the set of weights, the cheaper they are, so you should be able to buy a set of 2 or 3 pound weights for under $10 easily. You should be able to get larger hand weights such as 5 and 8 pound ones for under $20 a set. There are even sets at some of the places I mentioned that have 3-4 sets in them with a rack-like a set of 2, 3 and 5 pounds, or 3, 5 and 8 pounds that are reasonably priced.
The water bottles can add 1 pound of resistance until you buy real weights though. I think they are thinner and would be easier to work with than cans from the pantry.
Start weight after baby #3: 233.9
Current weight: 143
90 pounds lost!