All you need is a cat food can (or even a tuna can will suffice) and a hole puncher to get started.
Use the hole punch to get two sets of about 16 holes all around.
You can use HEET which is available at any gas-station or hardware store. While the fumes HEET gives off is pretty toxic, it’s inexpensive for when you’re pinching pennies.
According to the website, Adventures In Stoving,
The best choices for fuel for an alcohol stove are:
1. Lab grade absolute ethanol (200 proof) or high proof liquor (190 proof). High heat content per gram (relative to methanol), relatively clean burning, and generally non toxic, but check the MSDS on lab grade absolute ethanol which may contain benzene which is toxic. A good choice for warmer weather.
2. “Green” denatured alcohol in the US or methylated spirits (ethanol with methanol used as a denaturing agent) outside the US. Methylated spirits is often called “meths” or “metho”. Good heat content, relatively clean burning, fairly non-toxic depending on the amount and type of the denaturing agent. In the US, always check the MSDS. A good choice for warmer weather.
3. Methanol, for example yellow HEET. Decent heat content, very clean burning, but definitely toxic in terms of fumes and skin absorption. Reasonably safe if used with care. A good choice for colder weather.
4. You can use Isopropanol, for example red HEET (Iso-HEET), but it is not really suitable as a stove fuel because it’s generally a sooty mess when it burns. Highest heat content, but dirty burning, and definitely toxic.
A bottle of Everclear would be ideal.
I had a nice hot cup of evening tea the other night using this.
It’s really light weight and it heats up water pretty quickly. The con about it is that you can run out of fuel.