I have heard of using bacon grease or lard. Never tried either, but being from Texas, I'm betting you have one or the other around!
What I was told, is to just rub it on (maybe wear rubber gloves or a plastic grocery bag over your hand so it's not sooo messy), or warm it in the microwave til it's melted, then cool enough so you don't burn your horse and paint it on with a cheap throw-away paint brush.
This I think was suggested during cooler months, so not sure if it would attract ants or melt completely away, though... My farrier always says to put whatever hoof conditioner I use well into the coronet band and above, so if it does melt, it will run down the hooves. If it's only on the hooves, it will just run down into the grass.
Perhaps supplementing your feed with ground flax seeds or black oil sunflower seeds will heal the hooves from the inside out. I know you're looking for something cheap *right now* but flax seeds are quite inexpensive and may be something you could add next month. There are a ton of threads on here about feeding them.