Xanath, the new-ish ice cream place in the Mission (SF), is owned by a saffron and vanilla importer. They sell vanilla beans and extract at an extraordinary discount. A pint of organic vanilla extract is $14; an 8-ounce jar is $11. A pound of vanilla beans is $26, and a quarter-pound of beans -- looked like well over a dozen -- is $9.50. Same price for Mexican or Tahitian beans/extract.
They sell flavored sugars and saffron, too, but I don't know average prices elsewhere or how theirs compare.