I am a mass consumer of vanilla extract.

I have vanilla on my oatmeal every single morning. The problem? I can absolutely tell the difference between vanilla extract and imitation vanilla. And the real stuff? It’s not cheap.  At our grocery store, the good stuff is $3 an ounce. Our family joke was that it would be cheaper for us to take a Baja cruise and get of in Ensanada to buy cheap vanilla than for me to get it at Costco.

So when I saw recipes floating around the web for homemade extract, I gave it a try. It is super easy (the hardest part is waiting the six weeks for the beans to masticate in the vodka.

Want to make this cheaper (and oh so delicious) version?

This is all you need:

1.75 liter bottle of Vodka

25 Vanilla Beans (If you want to just try this recipe out you can buy 25 beans here. If you want to go into mass production, here is where you can buy beans in bulk.)


1. Cut the beans lengthwise down the middle.







(This will open up the beans and let all the good “vanilla dust” soak into the vodka.)





2. Put the cut vanilla beans in the vodka bottle. Replace the lid and shake the bottle. Store the vodka bottle in a cool, dark place and shake the bottle once a week for the next six weeks.







If giving as gifts, you can order these adorable brown bottles off of Amazon. fill each bottle with four ounces of your six week old vanilla extract.









Add a cute label. (Anything can be elevated with a cute label.) This is an Avery kit with all sorts of pre-designed labels. All you have to do is add your verbiage and you are good to go!









The world’s cutest gift. With a personalized label:

Lipp Private Reserve
Vanilla Extract
Bottled 2014

Delicious and about 10% of the cost of store bought vanilla.

I’ve given vanilla extract to all of my kids and they have all demanded refills!



Kathi Lipp is the author of 17 books including Overwhelmed, Clutter Free, The Get Yourself Organized Project, The Husband Project, Happy Habits for Every Couple, and I Need Some Help Here – Hope for When Your Kids Don’t Go According to Plan. She is the host of Clutter Free Academy the Podcast! with Kathi Lipp and speaks at conferences across the US. Kathi is published with Revell Publishers and Harvest House Publishers.

She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.
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