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How to make your own Vanilla Extract

How to make your own Vanilla Extract

Some people use vanilla extract in passing. Some people use it like it’s going to go bad tomorrow. I’m the latter. Since I’ve started making my own vanilla yogurt and homemade granola I am using more vanilla extract up than I really thought possible. So, I thought that it would probably be prudent to just make it myself and save a fair amount of money. 🙂
To buy an “inexpensive” store brand 2 oz. bottle of vanilla extract I recently spent $5.49.
Today I spent $8.79 on the vanilla beans and $13.26 on a 750M bottle of Fris Vodka. Which is the least expensive bottle I found at our local package store. Total = $22.05.
750M is about 26 oz. So, let’s do the math. (I am a math teacher after all. 😉 ) If I bought 26 oz. of vanilla extract at $5.49/2 oz. then I would spend $71.37!!!! OMG So, basically I am saving $49.32 making my own.

Steps to saving nearly $50.


  • Select an inexpensive bottle of vodka and some vanilla beans. The recommended ratio is 3 beans per cup of vodka. I only have 2 beans, so I may go get some more to add to the bottle.
  • Slice the beans in half length wise to expose all of the yumminess inside.IMG_20130802_164646
  • Add the beans to the bottle and shake it up. At least once a week give the bottle another shake. After 2 months it should be ready to use. You can see the little flecks of vanilla floating after I shook the bottle up here.IMG_20130802_164847

I think I can handle that! 🙂 I added a label so that nobody would think this was available for evening cocktails.




If you are like me and trying to be frugal with your resources you may be interested in trying out Swagbucks. I heard about them from one of the other blogs I follow TheFrugalGirl. I’ve been using the site for about a month now and I’ve earned enough Swagbucks to get $20 worth of Amazon gift cards. I have been eyeing a set of Pyrex glass storage containers and am planning to put that towards it. 🙂 If you haven’t signed up for Swagbucks yet, I’d love it if you’d use my referral link embedded into my post here to give them a try and let me know what you think.  Swagbucks gives you even more swagbucks when you have referrals, so after you sign up if you like it, you can invite your friends to sign up and you’ll earn too. They have not paid me to endorse them or anything, I’m just sharing the love. I will however hopefully earn some swagbucks while YOU’RE earning swagbucks.

How to make a Hobo Style purse

How to make a Hobo Style purse A friend of mine messaged me with pictures of some cute fabric that she was just dying to make into a hobo style bag. She came over later that night and together we made it! 🙂 IMG_20130713_182901We did find a pattern for a purse in one of my books here at the house, but unfortunately it had to be enlarged 167%. I tried to do this on my copy machine, but that didn’t really work out. So…Plan B! I drew one on the back of some large paper that I had and cut it out. IMG_20130713_184232   IMG_20130713_184241   We decided that the gray fabric would make a great bottom and that it might be easier to cut the pattern out if it were already attached to the focus fabric, so I went ahead and sewed those two pieces together. Then I laid the pattern on the fabric and positioned it along the fold like it showed in the book. After I pinned it in place I cut it out. I later realized that I had to do this twice for the front and back pieces. IMG_20130713_184730Next I had to cut out two pieces of the yellow for the lining of the purse. IMG_20130713_185059 The directions in the book weren’t very clear about the next steps, so here’s where I kind of had to finesse it a bit and just go with my instinct. IMG_20130713_185743 I put the lining and the outside of the purse together and kind of folded it in to get a picture in my head of what it was going to look like. I decided to sew the handles of the purse together and then with wrong sides together sew around the outside of the sides and handles. IMG_20130713_185347IMG_20130713_192350   I pressed it afterwards and then pressed a 1/4″ seam for the arm hole so that I could sew it down with a top stitch. Not super easy, but it got the job done. Just to give it a more finished look I top stitched around both sides of the handles. *The 2 halves of the purse are not connected yet.* I repeated the handle process for the other half of the purse. I joined the 2 halves together at the side seams being careful to match up the gray bottom.IMG_20130713_190230   Next the pattern in the book said to make the bottom of the purse and then attach it. Again…not really clear directions, but after some consultation with my friend, we decided that if we cut some gray and coordinating fabric just a little smaller than the purse width and then about 5 1/2″ tall, that would be a good size. I just cut rectangles to start, but then eased the corners into an oval as much as I could. I later cut off the excess fabric and then zigzag stitched over the edges so that they would be finished like the rest of the bag. IMG_20130713_205009   IMG_20130713_204953   We were pretty pleased with it overall. 🙂