Thanks for that!!! I could make some sort of a clear plastic box and do essentially the same thing, but longer lasting. Maybe some sort of seal-a-meal …??? Anyhoo, I still like what I came up with. It took about 3 hours to do it the first time. I think I can do it in about 1/2 hour next time. If I did a set of four all at the same time maybe 1 hour.
I did a search on Amazon. vacuum gauge, sort by: price, low to high. I see some in the 4 to 7 USD range. Of course I wish they were in the 2 for a penny range, but what the hay.