Make it: Homemade Vanilla

Ingredients:

  • Cheap vodka or brandy
  • Vanilla beans

Directions: Find jars that you want to use — you could order vanilla bottles from Amazon, use recycled glass jars or use canning jars. Split vanilla bean halfway with knife. Add two to each jar, then cover with vodka. Let sit for three to six months. The fun part for kids is 1. watching the vanilla darken over time and 2. making personalized labels, like “from the Thompson family.”

Cost: 12 jars, Amazon, $19; 18 vanilla beans, $20; vodka, $6.

Total cost: $45 for 12 jars (use recycled jars to make it cost effective)