I like to use real vanilla bean in my cooking and baking but it does get expensive in the long run. But one trick I do is to save the empty vanilla beans after I scraped out the seeds and when I have a couple I make a vanilla bean sugar I can use instead of vanilla beans or vanilla extract. Super easy and money saving for sure. So when I bake or cook I substitute 1-2 tsp of the vanilla sugar instead of 1/2 vanilla bean seeds.
Place everything in a food processor and blend for1 minutes, until vanilla bean sticks have been broken up and mixed with sugar.