With the High Price of Vanilla Beans, Should You Make Homemade Vanilla Right Now?

I’ve been making Homemade Vanilla since 2009. Why?

  • To save money
  • So I can trust my vanilla to be pure and healthy
  • Because Homemade Vanilla is ridiculously delicious

How To Make Vanilla Extract

See, most vanilla extracts on the market have sugar added. I don’t want that, of course. Also, most have been watered down, so they aren’t as strong and flavorful as I’d like. But Homemade Vanilla is completely pure, extremely flavorful, easy to make, and makes awesome gifts! However…

The price of vanilla beans has risen drastically.

In the past three years, the price of vanilla beans has gotten crazy high! Making Homemade Vanilla used to be super cost effective, saving oodles of money compared to buying it. Since there are so many other benefits to making it, it became a no-brainer to me!

But now there’s a major vanilla bean shortage, so the price has risen dramatically. (This stinks for those of us who want to make vanilla, but my research tells me that this is a much worse situation for farmers whose livelihood depends on good crops. We are simply inconvenienced; but these farmers are hurt deeply by this. With this news, suddenly my concern for my homemade vanilla price takes a back seat in the world of “what actually matters.”)

With the high cost of Vanilla Beans, does it still make sense to make Homemade Vanilla Extract

Does it still save money to make Homemade Vanilla?

Having said all of this, I wanted to share that I recently crunched some numbers again to see if it even made sense to make a batch of homemade vanilla right now. I was pleasantly surprised, and want to share my findings with you!

The upfront cost still seems high, but read all the way through to discover how to get the most bang for your buck.

It is most cost effective to make a gallon of Homemade Vanilla at once, instead of making a small batch. A gallon will last a very long time, or you can use it for gifts! (Homemade Vanilla is an awesome gift at Christmas for friends, family members, and teachers!!)

Price Break-Down to make a gallon of Homemade Vanilla

50 Vanilla Beans: $200
3.5 liters of 35% alcohol Vodka: $30
Total Cost: $230
Price per ounce: $1.80

This makes an 8-ounce bottle cost $14.40.

Remember, the quality of vanilla is ultra strong, not watered down, with no added sugar.

Cost of High Quality Purchased Vanilla

Imitation Vanilla is made of nothing real, so I recommend avoiding it even though it’s cheap. The best pre-made “pure” Vanilla Extract I could find at Azure Standard costs $2.20/ounce.

This makes an 8-ounce bottle cost $17.60. This is more expensive than homemade, but more importantly —–>

Note the ingredient list of this purchased vanilla (listed in this order):

  • water
  • 35% alcohol vodka
  • vanilla bean extractives

Not only is purchased vanilla extract more expensive, it is watered down, so not nearly as strong.

So Homemade Vanilla Extract wins the prize for being lower in cost and entirely pure.

Which leads me to my best advice and even better news about the cost:

Use Half the Amount and Cut the Cost in Half!

Because the Homemade Vanilla Extract is so very potent, I recommend that you use half the amount called for in a recipe. Doing this will double how long an 8-ounce bottle will last!

Therefore, the $14.40 it costs to make 8-ounces of Homemade Vanilla will last you twice as long, giving you what store-bought 16-ounce bottle gives. In this way, you can think of your 8-ounces of homemade vanilla being broken into TWO 8-ounce bottles which cost only – drum roll please –

$7.20 each.

And with that, I absolutely recommend that we all still make Homemade Vanilla Extract!


I forgot we get 20% off!!!

Good grief. I can’t believe I wrote this entire post and forgot to figure in the fact that Olive Nation gives Heavenly Homemakers readers 20% off! Time to crunch new numbers! I’ve been working with them for many years now, and they are happy to give us a discount. (They’ve been keeping me up to date on vanilla bean shortages and prices too. I love working with them.)

Get the best quality vanilla beans at the best price here. Use the code home to get 20% off, a code made exclusively for Heavenly Homemakers readers! Get free shipping when your order is over $50.

Discounted cost for Homemade Vanilla Extract

50 Vanilla Beans $160.00
3.75 ounces Vodka $30.00

Total cost: $190.00 (woot!)

Per ounce breakdown: $1.48/ounce
Price for 8-ounces of Homemade Vanilla: $11.84


Make Vanilla For Christmas Gifts

One last note! Most everyone loves receiving Homemade Vanilla Extract as a Christmas gift! Because it takes 4-6 months for vanilla beans to “extract” I recommend you start a batch right away to have it ready to give in December.

I think that about covers it. Any questions? (I’m actually at church camp right now so answers will probably be delayed!) I’m so glad I finally crunched the numbers instead of continuing to cringe over the bean prices!

20% Off Vanilla Beans Through March 30!

When vanilla beans are offered at 20% off at Olive Nation, we have to take advantage!  They always offer free shipping on vanilla bean orders, so that’s a great bonus.

Read here about how to make homemade vanilla extract.  I mean, why else would I suggest you buy a bunch of vanilla beans?! :)

Making my own vanilla has saved me so much money over the years.  Plus, I know that my vanilla is absolutely pure.  Olive Nation is the only place I purchase vanilla beans.  Their quality and prices are best.  I just took advantage of this 20% discount so my savings is even greater than normal.  Super exciting!


Find the discounted vanilla beans on this page at Olive Nation.  Use the code EAST20 for the 20% discount to apply.  Get your homemade vanilla started and love the deliciousness!  (Coupon code expires March 30, 2015.)

This post contains affiliate links.

Vanilla Bottles and Beans – Free Shipping, Plus a Vanilla Bean Discount!

How’s your batch of Homemade Vanilla Extract coming?  You are making some, aren’t you?  It’s too fun and too delicious not to try!

How To Make Vanilla Extract

Here is a picture tutorial on how to make homemade vanilla.  I always buy my vanilla beans from Olive Nation because their prices and quality are the best.  So here’s this week’s scoop on bottles and beans:

~~ Olive Nation loves Heavenly Homemakers readers, so they give us an exclusive discount.  So nice!  If you buy vanilla beans from them and use the code home, you’ll get a 10% discount.  Shipping is always free on their vanilla beans.

~~ Through March 18, Olive Nation is offering free shipping on everything else in their shop.  This means you can buy the vanilla bottles you need to finish your homemade vanilla project and save big bucks on what it typically costs to ship them to you.  For this, use the code MARCHFREE.


You can only use one coupon code per order.  If you need both bottles and beans, I suggest placing separate orders so you can get free shipping on your bottles plus 10% off vanilla beans (which come with free shipping anyway).  Make sense?

Enjoy making (and using) your homemade vanilla!

This post contains affiliate links.

2-Ounce, 4-Ounce, and 8-Ounce Vanilla Extract – For Sale Now While Supplies Last

It’s time! We’ve got our Homemade Vanilla Extract bottled up and ready to send you. As you can imagine, our house smells delicious. :)


We always encourage you to make your own batch of vanilla extract. It’ll save you lots of $$ and give you the most delicious and pure vanilla ever! If your batch isn’t ready yet or you don’t want to make your own, we are excited to offer ours twice each year. The timing for this sale is perfect for holiday baking and gift giving. We have plenty of 2-ounce and 4-ounce bottles as these are perfect stocking stuffers, teacher appreciation gifts, gifts for neighbors, gifts for co-workers….yes – these make awesome gifts!

The prices below include all shipping and handling fees. There will be no charges added to the amounts below. We do have to limit this sale to U.S. for shipping purposes.

Ready? When we run out, we run out, so don’t wait if you want some! We’ve sold out within only 5 hours before – that was one crazy morning!  I try to keep this post updated when the supply begins to run low.

Have fun. We can’t wait to get this liquid gold in the mail to you. Mmmmm, deliciousness!

2-ounce bottle
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8-ounce bottle
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Time to Bottle Your Vanilla!

Did you make homemade vanilla extract for Christmas gifts this year? Your friends and family will be so blessed!

If you’re ready to bottle it up, I wanted to share my favorite online resources. If you live in a big city, you may be able to find something less expensive. Since I don’t have that option, I take advantage of the good ol’ internet.

olive nation bottles

I’ve shopped around online quite a bit, crunching numbers, adding in shipping costs (ouch!). If you only want 4-ounce bottles (and I have found that this is a great size for gift-giving), then Olive Nation is your best price. This is because they offer free shipping if your order is over $50. See, it’s the shipping cost on these orders that can really make the bottles expensive. If you can swing ordering enough from Olive Nation to get free shipping, this will save a lot of money. (The price ends up being just $1.26/bottle.)

Limited Time Only!!

Just before posting this, an email came through saying that you’ll get free shipping at Olive Nation with a minimum order of only $25 – now through November 19!! Take advantage! Use the code FREESHIP25 at checkout.

If you want 2-ounce or 8-ounce bottles, I recommend Mountain Rose Herbs.

Don’t let the cost of bottling your vanilla discourage you! Your homemade vanilla is still an inexpensive gift, especially when you consider the quality of what you’re gifting!

Also, don’t be afraid to ask the recipient to save the bottle to give back to you. Most people have given their bottle back to me without being asked (and some beg for a refill – of course!).

For those of you who haven’t jumped into making Homemade Vanilla Extract, you’ll be excited to know that we have a big batch of our homemade vanilla almost ready to bottle up and share with you. This will be just in time for your holiday baking and/or gift giving needs! Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 6 so you won’t miss out.

This post contains affiliate links.

Get 15% Off Vanilla Beans (plus free shipping) Through Wednesday

I was so excited to see an email this morning letting me know that Olive Nation – my favorite source for high quality vanilla beans – is offering a 15% off coupon!

I very much encourage you to join the fun of making Homemade Vanilla Extract. It’ll save you a lot of money on this pricy baking item. Plus, your vanilla extract will be pure and so, so, so delicious. We’ve been making our own vanilla for over five years now.  I’ll never go back to store-bought.  Plus, Homemade Vanilla Extract makes great gifts!

Read details here about how to make homemade vanilla. It is incredibly easy! Take advantage of the 15% discount from Olive Nation. They are the only place I trust to deliver great quality beans, every single time. The added perk is that their prices for this quality are the best (and believe me – we’ve done the research on this). Even better – they always offer free shipping on vanilla bean orders.

So go get your vanilla beans!! Use the code VANB15 for the 15% discount. Free shipping is automatic on vanilla bean orders.

How To Make Vanilla Extract

This post contains affiliate links.

How to Finish Your Homemade Vanilla Extract

How To Finish Your Vanilla Extract

I’ve talked about making Homemade Vanilla Extract just a little tiny bit on this site. You’ve seen:

Just in case you need MORE reasons to make your own Vanilla Extract, here’s a post about All the Nasty Stuff Found in Most Commercial Vanilla Extracts.

But for some reason, I never shared with you how to finish off and bottle your homemade vanilla extract. Sometimes I forget important details, such as the names of my children and telling you how to finish off your homemade vanilla. What’s his name – my youngest son – helped me bottle some vanilla last week and we took pictures. Finally. (Malachi…his name is Malachi.)

Once your vanilla beans  have been sitting in the vodka (or other alcohol of choice) for 4-6 months, it’s strong and ready to be bottled. Begin by lining a colander with a coffee filter or thin tea towel.

Place lined colander in a pot to catch the vanilla. If you don’t, you will have excellent quality homemade vanilla extract running down all over your kitchen table and floors. Your kitchen will smell great for months, but that will only be a long, sad reminder of the wasted vanilla. Put the colander in a pot.

Pour contents of your jar into the colander so that the coffee filter can strain all of the tiny vanilla specks out. The vanilla specks won’t hurt anything, but it’s nice to have speck-less vanilla extract.

Use a funnel to bottle up the strained vanilla. I have found amber bottles (recommended) Mountain Rose Herbs.

Lay your used vanilla beans on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to dry. You can then put them into a container of sugar for 4-6 months which will turn that sugar into Vanilla Sugar!

Finally, FINALLY I have shown you how to finish up your vanilla. And now, if I can figure out how to call my children by the correct names without running down the list of all four boys before I get to the right one, I’d be all set.

This post was originally published November 28, 2010.

Heavenly Homemakers Homemade Vanilla Extract – For Sale Today While Supplies Last

As you know, we very much encourage everyone to try their hand at making  Homemade Vanilla Extract. It saves money and produces the purest, most delicious vanilla possible! For those of you who don’t care to make your own, or who are currently making some but waiting for it to finish up, we are excited to once again offer a big batch of our Heavenly Homemakers Vanilla Extract for sale today.

Keep in mind as you see the price that this amount covers our expenses, including shipping – and the most important thing:  You can use half the amount of vanilla called for in recipes because this vanilla is so pure and strong. Therefore, this bottle of vanilla will last you twice as long as a typical bottle! Read more here about how to make your own vanilla extract.

We have a limited supply, so this is being offered while supplies last. Typically, we sell out within just a few hours – so act fast if you want some! These prices include shipping, so what you see below is the total you’ll pay. We are only able to ship within the U.S.

4 ounce bottle (only 2 left)
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8 ounce bottle
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Want to Give Homemade Vanilla For Gifts This Christmas? Time To Get it Started!


Yep, it’s that time of year again. It takes 4-6 months of brewing time to get a really good, pure vanilla extract. If you would like to give Homemade Vanilla Extract for Christmas gifts this year, it’s time to get your supplies together and start a batch!

Here is all the information you need about making homemade vanilla. Be sure to take advantage of the 10% discount offer Olive Nation gives us here at Heavenly Homemakers. Use the code home to receive the discount at check-out.  I love their vanilla beans, their price, their quality and their free shipping on this product!

Important Announcement!  We have a batch of our Heavenly Homemakers Vanilla Extract ready to bottle and sell. If you would like to give it a try while you wait for your own vanilla to brew, or if you simply don’t want to make your own, we are thrilled to offer you a bottle of ours! We plan to offer this batch for sale on Saturday, June 14 beginning at 8:00 am CST. It will only be available while supplies last, and the supply typically only lasts a few hours. So mark your calendar and be prepared to stop by our site to snatch some up if you’re interested!