I have decided - at the beginning of the next academic year I'm going to make many of these homemade condiment things, and then give them away as gifts later on. This requires a couple of weeks to..develop the flavor, and my cured sun-dried tomatoes as well, and same with flavored oils and salts. I can also give away nut butters, like almond butter, or jams, like this orange and rosemary marmalade.
Anyway, homemade vanilla extract. I don't know if this is actually more cost-efficient. Normally I buy this vanilla extract which costs £5.
I bought two vanilla pods that cost the same, plus the price of alcohol, and it made about that much vanilla extract as well. So, yes, all you need to make your own vanilla extract are alcohol and vanilla pods.
With all these homemade things, sometimes it's not about the money but more about control. Control over the type of vanilla, the type of alcohol and everything else. Control.
Use nice vanilla pods, use good alcohol. Please don't use some Tesco Value Vodka.
2 vanilla pods
Sterilize your bottle/jar. Get one that's about 200ml. Clean it out and boil the jar then air dry it.
Cut the vanilla pods in half, then place them in the bottle. Cover with alcohol and close it. Leave it in a cool dry place, and after about 8 weeks you'll have vanilla extract :)