Imitation vanilla extract maybe much cheaper than the real thing in the store, but it's chocked full of artificial colors and chemicals to achieve that vanilla flavor. Now, you can be frugal and enjoy the richness of real vanilla extract!
Using vanilla beans, cheap vodka, and father time, you can have your own fantastic vanilla extract. Start by purchasing good vanilla beans. I purchased a sampler pack from The Organic Vanilla Bean Company! The sampler pack I purchased actually contained 22 beans which gave me a small bonus bottle of my homemade extract.
Take the beans and slice them down the middle to expose the soft insides of the beans. This will help the beans infuse the vodka with their wonderful flavor!
I bought two- one liter bottles of the cheapest vodka I could find. Fortunately, DH and I had a small 375 mL bottle of the pricier stuff that was given to us, but it remained unopened! I put 9 beans in the one liter bottles, the remaining 4 beans I placed in the 375 mL bottle.
Put the lids back on the bottles and store them in a cool, dry place. Give them a shake every so often. In about 3 months you should have fantastically flavorful vanilla extract.
Extra Tip: Put this in small bottles and hand them out for holiday gifts!