Healing potions are always a great backup plan. Consider Cure Light Wounds potions from Mordenkainen's - they're only 20 gp, and cure 1d8+1 damage for the cost of a surge. So if you have 100 free gold, you can get 5 of these or 2 normal healing potions.
Usually 1d8+1 is fine; the main purpose of healing potions (IME) is either reviving an unconscious ally who's already used their Second Wind, or getting your Leader back up so they can work their healing.
Importantly, if you're bloodied and out of surges, they heal this amount anyway, surge-less.
I second healing potions/potions of cure light wounds.
For melee weapon users, there are "Augmenting Whetstones" which use you on your weapon, then get a bonus for the rest of the encounter. Effects include: ongoing 2 acid damage (save ends) or 2 thunder damage to nearby enemies (but not the original target). 100gp a pop, but they can be encounter-changers at low level.
mounts are a risky and silly prospect, but "Giant lizard, draft" is apprently only 200gp, mobile and a hefty fighter (and as a pixie, you can talk to it!)
Always kill your enemies, otherwise they will come back to haunt you - anon
Originally Posted by Lemur
No one will ever be able to question your sense of style when you explain that you cut your own hair with your boot knife. Mainly because if they do, you have a knife in your boot.
Originally Posted by SteveD
"A gygaxian dungeon is like the world's most ****ed up game show. Behind door number one: INSTANT DEATH! Behind door number 2: A magic crown! Behind door number 3: ten pounds of sugar being guarded by six giant KILLER BEES!"
Seriously, though, I belive that anything you gain at this level will become obsolete soon enough, so consumable items are your best shot here. So if you grab a whetstone, a pop of healing potions, and normal gear, that should do you well enough.