1. Don't spend $30 on a flag bag. Make one out of an old pair of jeans. I did this recently for my guard and decorated them with fabric paints. If you aren't sure how, email me and I'll explain. :)
2. The year before I joined guard, they used PVC pipes. My new instructor hated them because they were really wobbly and demanded of our band director that we get news ones and... viola.
3. Instead of buying new uniforms or flags, make your own. Buy budget flags and add on to them. My junior year, one of the girls' aunts or something made our flags and our uniform (we got the design from a uniform site). Saved us a bunch!
4. Ask around other highschools and see if they have any old uniforms or flags to give away. A few washes and they're good as new!