If you can not afford to fork out $150.00 and up for a decent tripod do not let that stop you. I have only used a tripod one time for lightning in the past 15 years. Use your camera bag, a large bag of rice or beans will work.
I am attaching some photos that were all taken with long exposures(5 to 10sec) with my camera bag for support and my finger was used to trigger the shutter.
The shot with the church was a from my car with the camera pressed up against the driver door with the window rolled down. I slowed my shutter down to around three seconds because any longer would be tough to hold still.