You don't have to buy expensive programs. You can do it yourself but don't expect it to happen overnight. You didn't say the age(s) of your child(ren) but here is what worked for me: (and I have a Kindergartener reading on the third grade level).
First and foremost, create a literate environment. Read to your child, starting at 6 months of age. Buy books for presents. Let your child have his/her own bookshelf, so he/she has access to books whenever he/she wants them. Let your children see you read. Get magazine subscriptions. Go to the library. etc. Talk about things you read.
Then I taught my dd sight words--I've included a link. Basically those are really common words that she will come across a lot in reading. I had her memorize those words (using flashcards). When you think about it, we as adults have memorized most of the words we read--we very rarely have to use our phonics skills to sound something out.
One thing that children have a hard time realizing is that a word stays the same --- the same combination of letters will always be the same word. (Some children doing phonics think that they have to re-figure out a word each and every time they come across that word.)
I also pointed out individual words as I read to her. ("That's the word "dog." )
Simulataneous to memorizing words, I had my daughter learn the ABCs. (The "song" and what the letters look like.)
Then, after my daughter had been "reading" some words for awhile (the words she had memorized), I began to talk about sounds--the sounds of letters and how sounds join together to make words. ("Phonics" means "sounds".) I also taught her "tricky" sounds--like ph makes the f sound.
Some sound combinations to teach:
(I don't like all the "vowel rules" of phonics because they don't always work.)
So, in a nutshell:
sight words--memorization from flashcards
Good luck! If you haven't been reading to your child all along, this will take longer.
P.S. If you have some extra money to spend on this, I would spent it on computer games that teach reading-- "Reader Rabbit Saves Wordville" is my daughter's favorite.)