Budget clamp maker ideas?

Yep, that's Home Depot.
"Inexpensive clamps" has to include build-to-the-task items too; invest in some 3/8" threaded rod (all-thread is available in long lengths, but 6' is enough for most jobs) and build jaws and use nuts and washers with the all-thread to clamp things up.
Or screw blocks down to a work table, drop the work between the blocks, and tap it tight with wedges. Some work with a table saw can generate a LOT of wedges. I have a wedge bag next to my clamps, and because the angles all match I can use a pair to make an adjustable parallel (under furniture for leveling, this is KEY). Slight taper works best, mine are tapered 1/4" in 5" length.
Hose clamps (the wormscrew/slotted strap type) are good for round or polygon glueups. A jigsawed hole in a plywood plate, and a bag of wedges, can also do odd-clamp duties.
And a favorite trick of large-scale veneering is the vacuum press. Tape a thick poly tarp over the work, and use a vacuum to suck the air out. Even a vacuum cleaner can pull 2 psi of vacuum, so a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood gets an applied force over two tons.
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