There IS a budget motel
Nobody will tell you about it, but there IS an in-town motel in Sweetwater, about half the price of the big chains at the exit. It's the Longhorn Motel, at 2201 East Broadway---that's the I-20 business loop. The Longhorn has a swimming pool, it's clean, quiet and pleasant, and you'll love the personal attention from the Hispanic family that manages the property. Rates should be under $30.