Jerky is amazingly easy to make. I still buy a $5 bag now and again (and I like it on long drives, also!), but you can make a lot pretty cheap and easy.
I buy a cheap cut, like London Broil. Albertson’s runs them 2 for 1 ever so often, or a round roast. Something that’s lean.
I like to put it in the freezer until it’s firm, not frozen, and slice off thin strips with a shape knife of electric knife.
Then throw it in a pan and season/marinade it. A little Worchester, soy sauce, hot sauce, salt, sugar, black pepper…use your imagination.
Take it out, pat it dry, sprinkle with black pepper (if you like it). Put foil in the bottom of your oven. Drape the meat over the wires of the racks, try to keep it from touching.
Put the oven on the absolute lowest setting it has, and prop the door open a tad. I like to close it off a little more than the detent that leaves it open 4" or so, I just wad up a ball of foil and use it to keep the door from closing.
Let it dry for a few hours. After a few hours, check some of the smaller pieces, and see if it’s good and dry. You want the larger pieces to dry all the way through, rare ain’t good for jerky. You might want to pull the smaller/thinner pieces as they dry, leave the larger pieces to completely dry. It’s a lot easier to figure out when you see it in action, you’ll know what’s done and what’s not.
I’ve got a road trip at the end of April. Jerky will be my snack of choice!