Harbor Freight is putting a cheap 800 watt generator on sale this weekend for $79.
Read the reviews. It sounds like a crap shoot regarding QC. And it's an itty-bitty thing. Don't expect it to drive big power tools or appliances.
But with a little patience, and some hands-on refinements, some reviewers say they've received (or achieved) a unit that'll give some basic light, power a TV or keep the electric motor running on a gas powered furnace during a power outage.
I have no experience with this unit. But I gotta say, for less than the price of taking the family to dinner at Longhorn, it looks tempting. And no, I'm not compensated for this mention.