To get an impregnable seal the area to be sealed must be clean and dry. Amazon US sells a Vacmaster multi-ring stand for $68.23 USD - I can't imagine the price in CDN dollars - mind you it comes with a "prep stand".😛
Cheap (free) substitute - cut a 1 litre plastic bottle so that it is wide enough to accommodate the food and the other end small enough to fit the bag you are using. Not to be snobbish but I find the Perrier 1 litre bottles ideal for this. You can either wash or toss as it was free to start with.
I'm sure everyone is aware of this - items that are opened, sealed, used and the re-sealed (cheese blocks) - use a large bag so that there is extra space at the top to re-seal.
Anyone else with hints not covered in the manual?