When I was a teenager there was a woman in our community who hosted a weekly potluck for teens. She was basically everyone's honorary cool aunt, and as well as being guaranteed plenty of complete silliness and fun, freshly baked muffins were part of the package.
Looking back it was pretty cool of her to let us take over her house like that - and I'm sure our parents were relieved to simultaneously have us out of the house and to know we were out of trouble.
These lemony ones are based on an Alison Holst recipe, and (to fit with the budget theme) are inexpensive to make (if you have your own lemon tree even better!).
My mum's blueberry muffins always come with a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon sugar, added just before baking. This has ruined soft-top muffins for me, and though cinnamon would be a bit overpowering here, I felt the principle could still be applied so I've added a raw sugar/lemon zest baked topping, which takes them up a notch.
These are best enjoyed fresh from the oven, or gently reheated - cold they're a bit heavy and the lemon flavour is dulled. So I guess not great picnic fodder, but since they're very quick to make they're the sort of thing you can whip up for surprise guests.
Did you have any honorary aunts or special hangout places in your teenhood?