I still had vanilla beans from a 2011 Ebay order. It was a great deal, order x amount of beans and get 10 free Grade B Tahitian vanilla beans for free. I used all 10 along with 2 Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans (also from the same order).
I usually get the 1 oz/29 ml bottle of Watkins vanilla for $4.99
McCormick Vodka 750ml bottle $6.99
10 Grade B vanilla beans $free
2 Grade A Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans $1.33
= $8.32 for a 750 ml bottle of vanilla extract, or 25 of the little bottles, a $129 value.
Now really, can you argue with that?
I use a lot of vanilla extract. I even put it in pancakes. For me, it is worth it to do a large bottle. You can also do a small bottle. It's roughly 3-5 beans for each cup of vodka.
I still have quite a few of the Grade A beans left. I have two split beans in a container of sugar for vanilla sugar. When a baking recipe calls for sugar, that's what I use. I need to change them out one of these days, but the two in there are over a year old and still smell fantastic.
Original idea from here: Chickens In The Road
Vanilla beans from here: Vanilla Products USA (Ebay store)
(I have nothing to do with either of these sites, just a fan!)