A Tucson Run And Vanilla Sticker Shock

We are die hard Costco fans and even though the portions/quantities are large for two people, we manage!  We love their coffee beans, tortilla chips, uncooked tortillas, pecans, etc.  And we buy all our meat at Costco.  I have a vacuum sealer and when we buy a large quantity item we divide into smaller portions and vacuum seal.  I buy sliced Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese and it comes in a huge package.  If I vacuum seal smaller portions of the cheese, it lasts forever.

Same with the uncooked tortillas–the package contains two inner packages of 22 tortillas each and doesn’t out date until May 18.  We will eat that many tortillas in six weeks but I still divide and vacuum seal in packages of 11 each–they seem to stay fresher that way.

I divide all the meat into meal sized portions and vacuum seal.  I love their pecans and refuse to buy them anywhere else even though we live in a large pecan producing area of Arizona.  Two pounds of pecans at Costco runs about $15.  The pecan sellers at the local farmers markets charge $10-12 per pound.  The pecans purchased in any grocery store are just plain icky!

On Tuesday when I was checking out at Costco I noticed when the vanilla in my basket went across the scanner--$34!!!!  I immediately said, “wait, wait!!”  The Costco employee said, “that’s what vanilla costs these days.”  I said, “well, I don’t want it, let me think about that one for a while!”  I haven’t purchased vanilla in over a year–Costco vanilla has a long out date and lasts us for at least a year.  Here’s an article about why vanilla costs so much these days.  I’m going to see what vanilla costs in Mexico!!  (remember my links show up in almost the same color type as all the rest of the words–click on the words “article about why…… above)

Judy, the librarian at our local library where I volunteer on Thursday mornings told me out of county people could obtain a Tucson library card with slightly limited privileges.  So, while in Tucson yesterday we visited a branch library and I’m now the proud holder of a Tucson library card which allows me access to many more eBooks.

I also visited a quilt shop–The Quilt Basket–a very busy Bernina selling shop.  Right inside the front door they had a large display of Laura Heine fabric and patterns for her collage quilts.  Laura is a fabric designer, teacher and owns Fiberworks Quilt Shop in Billings, MT.

And we did a little damage to the credit card at Home Depot–that concluded our busy Tucson day.

Today was a stay at home day at last! Sunday and Monday we drove to Tombstone for the horse trailer deal, Tuesday it was Tucson–it felt good to be at home today.  I did routine, mundane chores all day–laundry, house cleaning, etc.  Made granola and fed us lunch.  I also planted the herbs and lettuce we purchased at Home Depot yesterday–in pots so the bunnies don’t have snacks!  The Cowboy has been on the roof most of the day–he said his brain hurts from figuring all the angles and corners involved in fixing the roof which joined the two houses–let’s just say the former builders needed some roof building lessons!

Moon going down over the Dragoons a while back.

Snow in the Chiricahuas.

Life is good!



33 thoughts on “A Tucson Run And Vanilla Sticker Shock

  1. I buy several large bottles of Pure Vanilla in Algodones, Mexico for myself, my daughter, and 2 sisters-in-law. I don’t remember the exact price but it’s cheap, cheap! And tastes much better.
    Peggy in Buckeye, AZ


  2. I too love Costco but only go very seldom. Traffic to get there is horrendous. I do the same as you, buy lots and vacuum seal in small meal portions for the two of us. I love the big chunks of Asiago cheese and sliced Havarti. Heaven! Vanilla is best from Mexico.
    Your houseis getting along great. I love seeing pictures. 😁❤️


    1. Thanks Vera–we always love hearing from you! We try not going to Costco until our meat supply runs out. We have friends who just can’t imagine going to Costco for two people–works for us!


  3. I remember either reading or seeing a TV show on the vanilla shortage. Your article sounds so familiar. Yes, vanilla is expensive!! Thanks goodness most recipes don’t call for a lot. I use to use vanilla a friend brought from Mexico for $1 a bottle. It says real vanilla but it was no where near the taste of our vanilla here in the states. So I wouldn’t bother with Mexican vanilla. I could really tell the difference. Glad you got some down time to just relax:) Beautiful moon!


    1. Thanks for the info on Mexican vanilla–I still have a bit left and I know there is vanilla in my Montana cupboards–so I may just wait until the price goes down again???


  4. Some years ago, my family used to bring me vanilla from Mexico until I learned that some of it has coumarin, a substance that can cause liver failure. My understanding is that is what causes it to smell so divine. I didn’t know and still don’t know how to tell if the bottles I had contained it or not but maybe by now, someone (the druggist?) can tell if this was a fact or just a rumor.


  5. Maybe I have missedit, but have you posted the recipe for the granola before, we love it,
    Costco is also just fun ….quite a nice diversion as we gather our needs and also things we really don’t need. Lol.


  6. King Arthur Flour has 16 oz. pure vanilla extract on sale for $49.95. Lasts forever.

    I’ve never been to Costco. May have to check it out.


  7. I saw Laura’s “Abilene” at the Abilene, Texas Quilt Show a couple of years ago and fell in love with it. I now have the kit and everything I need to make it. I just need time to do it.


    1. I took a class with Laura and made a bear collage quilt. Laura borrowed quilts from her classes for an exhibit at Road To California and my bear quilt was one of the ones exhibited.


  8. I started making my own vanilla after I saw Costco’s price keep going up. Granted, I have to wait a few months for it to “set”. Inexpensive bottle of vodka and vanilla beans. I’ve got one started now & should be ready about May. I have enough from my last batch to get me through till then.
    Liz-Boise, ID

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My daughter made her own vanilla extract using directions she found online. Bottle of inexpensive vodka add vanilla bean (don’t remember the quantities) and place in a dark space for a couple months. She purchased dark amber bottles, made cute labels and gave them to co-workers at Christmas. Very simple process, not expensive at all and just as good quality as what Costco was selling.


  10. Have followed your blog for years as we were RVers (full-time for 16yrs) and I am a quilter. Checked out every nook of the Quilt Basket on Tuesday after I signed for the mailing list and found your name on the line above…you must have escaped by then. Love that shop…we drive from Casa Grande to shop there (and at nearby Quilters Market). Also – have used nothing but Mexican Vanilla for years and keep friends and family up north supplied as well.


    1. Thanks so much for commenting–we love to hear from blog readers! That’s funny you were in the store shortly after I was! I would have loved to browse for a while but the Cowboy and Emmi were waiting in the truck and it was a touch warm that day. I will go back some day soon by myself. Lots of ideas about substitutions for USA vanilla.


  11. Yep, I got that vanilla shock too! I was wanting to make homemade vanilla as I have some great alcohol to use. Vanilla beans were like $150 for a package. Nope, I’ll use store bought stuff for awhile.


    1. WOW!!–it stands to reason if vanilla is that expensive, so will be the beans! I also download audio books from the library–seldom from anywhere else. I use audio books when I’m quilting.


  12. My dad always shopped at Costco just for himself and made it work with a sealer like yours and a chest freezer. We haven’t been members for years, but have considered it for specific items. Good to know about the pecans! I just bought Vanilla for 99 cents in Algodones. Nearly everyone in line had a bottle too which makes sense now that I know how expensive it is in the states. I rarely use it, but at that price I figured why not? We’ll see how it tastes…. Gorgeous moon!


  13. I have been using Mexican Vanilla for over 20 years and am still alive. 😉 I actually like it better than Costco vanilla. I had to buy that awhile ago because I ran out of the other. Some nice soul took pity on me and brought me the Mexico stuff. Ow I am ahappy camper again. 🤗😀


    1. Glad to hear the Mexican vanilla sits well with you Vera–we use so little of it when cooking–1 teaspoon in a batch of cookie dough or 1 tablespoon in homemade ice cream–hard to believe that little bit on occasion would hurt anyone.


  14. That’s some interesting terrain in that last picture! Not something we see in Nebraska. Today we’re seeing ice. The poor tree branches are drooping down to the ground. Hope the electric stays on.

    I’m almost scared to look at the price of vanilla and my bottle is about half empty.

    I’ve been buying the Kirkland brand pecans & walnuts online. A little higher priced than you got them for, but so much better than the ones from the grocery store.


  15. Beautiful country you landed in Janna. Think about you guys lots – miss you. When do you head home to Big Timber? Lynne


    1. Hey Lynne–we do love it here with one exception–we miss our ATVing friends so much! The Cowboy wants a roof on the main house before we head home and as the weather continues to be rather nasty we are in no hurry! 🙂


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