So, I've been reading about how easy it is to make your own vanilla extract and after I went through a 2 ounce bottle in the last 2 weeks I decided I was going through it fast enough to justify the initial cost.
I bought 2 different beans. Mexican and Tahitian (planiforia) The Mexican cost $1/bean and the Tahitian cost about 12 cents/ bean but the Mexican was quite a bit bigger. Here you can see the two different beans in the bottles.
Making vanilla is pretty simple. Take a couple of beans. Split them down the middle lengthwise and soak in hooch for 6 months or so. I used 3-4 Mexican Vanilla beans or 7 Tahitian vanilla beans in each 8 ounce bottle of vodka. It lasts forever and I have started using quite a bit, so I made a bunch.
You can already see the vanilla seeping out in the bottom of the bottles. Now, store in a cool dark place. In this case, I put the bottles back in the box they came in and stuck it all down in my storage room in the basement.
And then dispose of the empties.
Check back in 3 and 6 months to see how it turns out. The Tahitian vanilla ended up costing me $4.80 for each 8 oz bottle and the Mexican vanilla cost $7/8 oz bottle to make.