Here’s one case where it makes sense to splurge!
Pure vanilla extract is more expensive than the cheaper imitation varieties. But properly stored, pure vanilla extract lasts forever — so you’ll never have to waste a drop.
Imitation vanilla extract, on the other hand, will generally stay at best quality for about four years at the most.
If you’ve already got a bottle of pure vanilla extract sitting in your cupboard, chances are it's just fine — even if you bought it many years ago. When handed correctly, pure vanilla extract will lose very little, if any, of its original quality as time passes.
Store pure vanilla extract in a cool, dark cupboard and keep tightly closed when not in use.