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Ask the Readers: Is it a better deal to buy disposable batteries or invest in rechargeable batteries?


Today’s question is from Heather:

I’m curious to know if anyone has done a cost comparison over time with buying batteries (using coupons, of course!) to using rechargeable batteries. We have three children and we go through a Costco-sized batch of batteries within a couple of months. I’m considering investing in rechargeable batteries but wondering if that would really save any money. Thoughts?

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86 Comments

  • I’ve not a cost comparison, but we use rechargeables in all the kids’ electronics. We recharge them every month or so in the most used toys, and we’ve had them for years. Definitely a major savings in my mind!

    • Sarah says:

      I think it depends on the use. We mostly use rechargeables, but in some things a regular battery works better and longer. For instance we have a newborn, and we found that in the vibrating chairs, a regular D battery lasts way longer than a rechargeable. We use the Eneloop rechargeable batteries. They come in double A and triple A size. You can also buy “C” and “D” spacer’s so that you can use those batteries in the toys that require a larger battery. OH and the Eneloop’s come precharged. 🙂

      • Sarah said, “I think it depends on the use.”

        That’s definitely true. We use disposable (we buy them at rock bottom prices in bulk) for things like clocks, remotes, etc. that last a long time with one use. The rechargeables come in handy for electronics mostly – wireless mouse, camera, TAG pen, etc. that are used a lot.

    • miriam says:

      I agree that there are big savings in having rechargeable batteries in comparison to regular ones. I say that if you look on line you will be able to purchase not only the charger at a reduced price but also the batteries. My husband has often bought rechargeable batteries online when we needed a different size at a much cheaper cost than in the stores.

      • I’ve never thought to buy rechargeables online. Thanks for the suggestion!

        • Lydia says:

          Use your Swagbucks to purchase them. 🙂

          We love our rechargeables for our camera….it’s saved us a heap. But like the others were saying, we use disposables in things like alarm clocks where the batteries last forever.

          • Kym says:

            what site do you buy them off and what brand. What is a good price for charger and a start up of batteries?
            thanks, i’d to get it a try!

  • mari says:

    Great question. Id love to see some of the answers to this.

  • Chris says:

    I think rechargeable batteries are totally worth it! I buy them 4 at a time (Or more, depending on needs)..and as long as I have some charging/charged..it works great! They’ll last hundreds of charges and you should notice a big difference in how much spend on batteries!

    • Cassy says:

      What brand do you use? I purchased a battery charger once and it didn’t work well at all so I was soured on the idea for a while. My son has a video game controller that we are constantly replacing thebatteries in, so I would love to find one that works!

      • Brandi says:

        We have a duracell charger and an energizer, but the batteries can’t be charged in the opposite charger. We have 2 b/c my husband and I both had some when we got married.

  • JEnn Soldato says:

    I have invested in the AA ones and haven’t had any problems with them. I use them in my remotes for the tv, surround, camera…. they last a few months then need a charge. Do they make them in the bigger sizes? It would have saved us a TON when I was using the battery operated travel swing when my son was small enough to fit in it. If they do, I think they are worth the money spent on them. (I have 4 kids, 6, 4, 3 and 1…. and LOTS of battery needing toys)

  • christy says:

    We used to go thru alot of batteries….it seems like all kids toys take a battery of some sort….about 6 months ago we invested in a battery charger from Radio Shack….about 40.00….then we bought 2 packs of AA and 2 packs of D….at a cost of about 10.00 per pack….I almost had a heart attack at register….but in the long run it has saved us a lot of money….we just charge batteries every other nite or so and then put them into what ever toy or camera that needs them…..when i was growing up my own mom and dad did the same thing…..

    • Aberline says:

      You paid way too much. I’ve had a charger for 5 years that I got at Kmart for $11, and a 4-pack of batteries was around $6. I am still using those. And it was a smart charger (stops charging when the batteries are full to avoid damage.)

    • Chelsea says:

      I agree with the other commenter that the charger at Radio Shack is pretty pricey. Also, if they have to be charged every other night the batteries or charger might be defective. Our rechargeables last months in remotes, mouses, and kids toys. You might be able to get your money back since they’re having to be recharged so often and buy a cheaper set at another store. Stores like Target and Walmart have much much lower prices than specialty electronics stores. I’m not sure if Walmart sells them because I don’t shop there often, but I know that Target does.

  • Monica says:

    I haven’t done a price comparison, but I’ve gotten several packs of regular Duracell batteries at Staples for free (after rebate) in the last couple months. Two packs of AA and two packs of AAA for about $10 each then free after the rebate. If you have a Staples in your area, I’d say you can’t do much better than free! Even if you just use them to supplement your stash of rechargeables.

    • Wendy says:

      Office Depot has Energizer batteries free after their rewards program pretty frequently, too. You have to shell out the money out of pocket, but you get 100% back as a gift card the next quarter. As long as you’re good about not using it as “free money” to splurge, you can get lots of batteries this way!

  • Wendy says:

    There is a BIG difference in battery charge by brand, too. Most store brands don’t hold a charge as long as the bigger name brand batteries, so you’re not really saving anything by buying store brand batteries (versus name brand with coupons, which can get the price down pretty close to generic). Rechargables do well for short bursts of use with charge-ups in between – cameras, toys, etc. They don’t do as well for extended-drain applications (remote control, etc.) or for really heavy loads (like a baby vibrating bouncy seat).

  • Sonia Lites says:

    I too use to buy batteries in bulk. But I finally invested in rechargeable ones. Not only do I just need to plug them in when their low, I don’t have to run out to the store to buy new ones. It also helps reduce the recycling of so many used up batteries.

  • Heather Finnegan says:

    We’ve not done a cost comparison, but we use both. The Wii remotes and kid toys get rechargeable ones. Other things get regular batteries. I buy whatever I can get cheapest, and have had good luck with Meijer-brand ones. When I had a digital camera that took AA batteries, I would buy the expensive camera ones-they far outlasted the regular ones. I agree with needing regular batteries in bouncy seats and swings (mine is old school before the plug in the wall ones became available). I also use rechargeable ones for the environment as well.

    • Amy f;) says:

      Yeah- us too! The wii motes get recharges and my headlamp for reading at night. Most everything else gets regular ones, caution about putting recharges in toys- we give toys away sometimes and forget to get our special batteries out first!

  • I have used rechargeable AA’s for years now! I couldn’t be happier. My camera goes through them really fast so that’s why I started using them. Ive been using the same ones for at least 4 years. They have way more than paid for themselves. I can always find good deals with coupons even for the rechargeables

  • Angela says:

    We have rechargeable in all sizes because I have 5 kids and we were going through the big pack a month. I have rechargeables in all the toys they play wth frequently and when the batteries are dead, they know that they can bring it to me and it takes about 1 day for the batteries to charge and then they can play with the toy again.

  • Savannah says:

    I’ve never done an actual comparison, but I know rechargeable batteries save me money. We spent $15 on one charger and $7 on another. Each came with 4 batteries. That was two years ago and we haven’t had to buy batteries since. We use them in our digital camera and remote controllers. I make sure I switch out the dead batteries for the fresh ones on the charger so they’re always ready when I need them. Also, they will recharge themselves a little when they are in my camera. It says it’s dead, but then I’ll wait an hour or so and they’ve recharged a bit.

    On the other hand, my dad says that my little brothers lose them too much and they actually cost him money. So if you are too forgetful, you might wanna stick with regular batteries.

  • Joy says:

    I think it does save a lot of money over time. Plus they don’t wind up in the land fill.

  • Rae says:

    For AA and AAA I use all the free Duracells that I have gotten at the office supply stores. I use rechargeable in our wii remotes and the wii fit board. I also use a rechargeable (not generic rechargeable, the one from Kodak) for our camera because using 2 disposable batteries ran out SUPER fast in my camera. The rechargeable was expensive (was like $40 for the battery with charger) but has lasted 3+ years so far with no sign of losing its power yet. I have tried some rechargeable that were HORRIBLE! I think it was Energizer ones but I would fully charge them then put them in things like a tape recorder (does not take much power at all) and it would literally last a few minutes at most (I’m talking 10-15 minutes) it was ridiculous. Regular batteries would last in that thing for hours of continuous use.

    • Christina says:

      my energizers are needing to be replaced also. i’d like to know which brand is best.

    • Katrina says:

      All of my Energizer rechargeable batteries were a waste of money. They never did hold a charge. But the other brands I’ve bought have been good.

  • jennifer says:

    No I have not done a cost comparison but judging by the amount of batteries we go through with my daughter using rechargeable batteries has been a huge time saver and I think over time yes a good cost savings!

  • Toni says:

    I used rechargeables in my first digital camera and they worked for the entire life of the camera (years). I agree with what another person posted though. If you want longer life, disposables might be better. The rechargeables don’t last as long per charge.

  • Gina R. says:

    I’ve had a set of rechargeable batteries for about 4 years. They are still going strong! I just wish I had more. They are great for kids handheld games. They last longer than normal batteries.

  • Elizabeth says:

    We use the rechargables for almost everything. I had the opposite experience of the person above talking about the swings and bouncy chairs– I loved the rechargables because I never ran out of batteries. Just pop them in the charger every other night, and come down in the morning to batteries! I’ve tried both the Duracells (AA with the 15 min charger) and the Energizer (Charges AAA-D) and like them both. And batteries are full of horrible stuff for the environment, so using rechargables is a no-brainer for me!

  • Dusti Mosher says:

    I would have to say that it saves a ton of money!! I started using rechargeables 2 years ago. $100 invested in batteries and a charger over two years is proof in the pudding!

    • Dusti Mosher says:

      P.S. Check out all-battery.com. WAY cheaper then buying AA, AAA, C’s and D packs at 10-15 dollars a pop at the store.

  • Elizabeth says:

    We have switched to rechargeable batteries. I haven’t figured out the exact savings. There are other benefits than the savings. Fewer batteries purchased means fewer to throw away. Also, we don’t have to store mass quantities of batteries which saves us space. We’ve enjoyed using them, especially for battery-eating items like digital cameras and toys.

  • Dee Wolters says:

    I have been using rechargable for years mostly for the convenience, although I think they are cheaper in the long run. We have quite a supply now, so no fighting for the AA batteries. For the kids I generally buy them enough rechargable batteries to go with a new toy that requires batteries.

    We don’t use D rechargable for flashlights, mostly because I cannot find them. We live on a farm and do not have electricity in the barn and must use flashlights to do night checks on the animals. I watch for sales and buy D batteries in large quantities in the winter when we need them. No time to recharge batteries when lambs are being born! I have found it better to stock up. Favorite, CVS B1G1 sales, use my ECB.

  • Toni S. says:

    I use both rechargeable and disposable batteries. Disposable batteries last as long as up to ten charges of a rechargeable in a lot of devices. I use disposable batteries for my metal detector because of the huge difference in battery life and also the performance of my metal detector. I suggest starting with rechargeable batteries for one or two devices, but still stock up on free or cheap disposables ( I never pay more than $1 for 4 AA’s). Then you can experiment and see which devices you like using rechargeable batteries in and invest in more when you find a good deal.

  • Cindy says:

    We, too, use rechargeables for most everything (Leapster, Tag, kids’ flashlights) and have gotten some great deals on them at Walgreen’s when they go on sale (especially if I have some Register Rewards to burn)! The other benefit is that you’re not having to deal with recycling or properly disposing of used batteries.

  • Aeryn says:

    Check your local flea market. I just found a vendor there selling 60 AA batteries (15 packages of 4, sold as a unit) for $5. Similarly fantastic deals on other sizes, too.

  • Chel says:

    We use both in our house. I’ve found that the camera lasts MUCH longer if we use good one time use batteries. And some gaming systems (ie Leapster) actually recommends that you don’t use rechargeable batteries. I’ve also found that the rechargeable batteries work great for seasonal electronics. Like all of the Christmas things that move/make noise/sing. We charge up the batteries, put them in for the season & then take them back out. That way we don’t forget to leave them in (and have to worry about exploding batteries).

  • Beth says:

    I say this knowing a lot of you will be skeptical, but my parents recently purchased a charger that actually “recharges” disposable batteries. I was skepitcal but they brought it on a visit and it worked on so many of my son’s batteries for toys. I think they got it through the Home Shopping Network, believe it or not. I guess it rearranges the neurons or something in the batteries. Sometimes they can’t be recharged, but it would surprise you how many can. I think they paid around $30 for it, so about the same as a rechargeable one, but you don’t have to buy special batteries.

  • Sean Bockstie says:

    We use a combination. We haven’t found a reliable charger for C/D and 9V so we use regular ones in that size. Fortunately, most of the kids toys are AA and AAA so we use rechargeables in those sizes. We’ve been using the same batteries for 5+ years now, I think we’ve saved a ton!

  • Stephanie says:

    I agree that it’s best to use cheap regular batteries in things like the remote, alarm clocks, etc., and rechargables in toys and digital cameras. As a new Mom, I have to say we’d be lost without the rechargable batteries in my daughter’s Jumperoo!!! We bought those on EBay and they came with a charger. Best of all, they last FOREVER and I only charge them every few months, and my daughter uses her jumper for at least half an hour daily. But, I think the bottom line is it just depends.

  • Anna says:

    I bought Canon rechargeable batteries for our digital camera August 2003, they still work 🙂 So yes, if you can get a good brand I would definitely recommend them!

  • I use rechargables for my camera, since it’s a battery sucker! Otherwise, I haven’t had the best of luck with rechargables. It seems like once they have been recharged once or twice, they lose their power almost immediately. We typically use Duracell or Energizer disposables, and stock up when they’re on sale, since they seem to hold their charge longer than any other battery. I have tried the cheap Target Dollar Spot batteries, and even though they’re cheap, they cost more than the better brands because they lose their power so quickly.

  • Anna says:

    I would recommend them for sure. My family uses AA batteries in something on a daily basis and we constantly have some on the charger. We have a bowl that they rotate out of. We have a total of maybe 16 and we could not afford to buy 16 or more batteries once or twice a month. So yes I for sure recommend them!

  • Jennifer says:

    I have done some research on rechargeables, and the consensus seems to be that the Sanyo eneloop batteries are the best. You can get them on Amazon for around $20 for eight batteries, and they will recharge 1000-1500 times each. I have also read good reviews on the Sony batteries, and I may buy a package of those that comes with one of their chargers, since you can charge individual batteries in the Sony charger as opposed to having to charge in pairs on the Sanyo recharger. Here’s the link on the Sony charger http://www.amazon.com/Sony-BCG34HRE4KN-Refresh-Pre-Charged-Batteries/dp/B001DL9WDG/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_cart_1

    NLee has done several reviews on rechargeable batteries and chargers, and they are very helpful. I have also read that you can get them pretty reasonably at Costco, though I don’t have one of those near me to check that out. 🙁

  • Katie says:

    Before I bought rechargeable batteries I was PLOWING through regular ones with my camera- now in the last 4 years I have had to replace my rechargeable ones only once.

  • Caitlin says:

    I use mostly rechargeable batteries, with the exception of when I’m able to get them for free, like with the $1 Rayovac coupons or the $1 Energizer for Eveready, and I only use those in slow-drain devices, like remotes, clocks, little flashlights, etc. I prefer using rechargeable because I feel like I’m not constantly having to hunt down great battery deals, and mostly because they are much better for the environment than throwing disposable batteries out after every use.

  • Nicole says:

    Rechargeable batteries all the way! We have 2 small children (one more due in a few weeks) and we go through batteries very quickly. We invested in them while our oldest was an infant. We used them in his baby swing, bouncy seat, etc. I never really saw how great they are until our 2nd child, who LOVED the baby swing, which, by the way, takes 4 D BATTERIES! He practically camped out in that thing, so the rechargeable batteries saved us there. We have 8 D rechargeable batteries, and while one set was in the swing, the other would either be in the charger or ready to go! We also have lots of AA and C types as well. It’s definitely worth it! And, you don’t have to feel guilty about throwing away batteries!

  • jennyandcompany says:

    The best way to save money on batteries is to get rid of things that use them – I have purged most of the toys that require batteries, and the house is much more quiet 😉 For tv remotes and wii remotes, rechargeable has definitely been a money saver, not only b/c of the cost, but also b/c we never run out and have to go to the store for batteries, taking up time and spending more money on other stuff while there. Plus there is less waste since there are no old batteries and new packaging to throw away every time.

    • Jill says:

      I agree. The battery operated toys (usually given by grandparents who are probably trying to get their revenge on us somehow) are almost always the first ones to make it in the Goodwill pile. Having said that, we were dependent on size D rechargeable batteries for the swing with my first. He was such a terrible sleeper and napped in that thing for the first year of his life. We had two sets – one in the swing and the other in the charger :).

    • Beth T says:

      Yep! I have found that my son only plays with battery operated toys for a few minutes! The wood toys, they are his favorite and mine too! lol

  • Kristen says:

    I buy rechargeable for the environment and for convenience. I find coupons for them around Christmas time usually. Whenever I buy a digital camera, I make sure it comes with a rechargeable battery. I’ve heard people say those cameras are more expensive, but that’s not necessarily true when you add up the cost of batteries over the camera’s lifetime. Plus, I only have to charge it about once a month! I love that!
    For those using regulars – remember that you can recycle them! Don’t toss them in the trash! As I transition all of the regular batteries out of our house, I keep them in a small container in the laundry room. When it’s full, I take it to recycle.
    Last thing – keep regular batteries in your emergency kits! Rechargeables won’t help if your power is out for a week! 🙂

    • Melissa N says:

      Where on earth do you recycle reguar batteries?! I have called about 10 places in Houston, plus office supply stores, office factory stores, the city services (trash and recycle), junkyards, etc., and NO ONE will take batteries without me paying a hefty fee! One place told me I’d have to pay $40 to drop off 2 pounds of batteries and he suggested I just throw them away 1 or 2 at a time so they won’t all be in the landfill in one spot. I stil have them all, but have started slowly investing in rechargeables – I buy one four-pack a month.

      • Jill says:

        You can’t recycle regular alkaline batteries. You can recycle rechargeable ones and some of the cadium or other ones, but not alkaline. The best you can do is save them for a hazardous waste disposal drop-off done by your municipality. Otherwise, you should just throw them away in the trash.

        • Kristen says:

          Our local Home Depot accepts all batteries into a recycling bucket. I was concerned after reading the above reply that maybe I’ve been putting the wrong batteries inside it. So I called, and they confirmed they accept them all. They didn’t confirm that they actually recycle them all. So I looked on the state’s page too, and they said that those that can’t be recycled should be dropped off at the hazardous waste station, not thrown in the trash. Thanks for giving me the motivation to look a little deeper into what happens to my batteries when I drop them off. 🙂

          • Jill says:

            I think most places accept all types of batteries (incl. alkaline), because they don’t think people know or care about the difference between the types. I highly doubt anywhere recycles them, mainly because it is very expensive and not really necessary. From what I’ve read it is safe to dispose of them in the trash, but I still cringe at doing it. I have a bag of old ones in a bag ready to take to a bi-annual hazard waste drop off. Glad to know I spurred you on to investigate :).

          • Christy says:

            Staples also recycles batteries.

  • Aryn says:

    We use rechargeables in things that use batteries quickly and we can wait to use if the battery needs charging. Flashlights, smoke detectors, alarm clocks, etc. get disposables because the disposable hold a charge far longer, and we don’t want to worry about the battery after the power has gone out!

  • Carrie says:

    I wrote a column about this for the Chicago Tribune back in February. I interviewed an engineer at Energizer and an owner of a Batteries Plus store, and this is what they told me:
    For items that you use often, rechargeables are by far the best value. The rechargeables might cost five times as much as the alkaline set up front, but you can recharge one set of batteries hundreds of times. Even if they don’t last as long, if you spend $15 on a set versus $3, you’ve gotten your money back in the first 10 charges and the next 300 charges are pure savings.
    HOWEVER, rechargeables don’t have as long a shelf life as alkaline batteries. After a couple years, they’re just done, whether they’ve been used or not. This means that it’s not a good value to put them in infrequently used toys or remotess, or low-draw devices like a wall clock. Chances are, your rechargeable will get old and die before an alkaline in this case.

  • Keiva Harrington says:

    Actually you can buy very good energizer rechargeable on ebay very reasonablly and that is always great but also we know and if you know someone who works for energizer they get them free or for around $1.oo, they also own schick and sell mens replacement heads for around $1.00 for a 4 pk! i would say get rechargeable. Mom of 5- four of which are boys!

  • Lynn says:

    I use rechargables for AA & AAA for everything. Not only do I save money, but most of all, I am never out of batteries! I never have to run to the store because we used the last one.

  • Karilee says:

    We use rechargeable batteries for kids toys (AAA and AA) and have found that the Energizer Quick charger does a great job. We also use this for our wireless mouse and remotes. I’m always forgetting to turn off the wireless mouse and even still a charge lasts a while. Once the battery is low, the charger takes just 15 minutes.
    For larger batteries (C and D), we use a charger and batteries that we purchased at Radio shack. It will also accommodate AA batteries but isn’t as quick as the Energizer charger. We’ve run flashlights, baby toys, swings, and bouncers on those batteries and have always gotten a good charge from them. Overall, after swinging and rocking 5 babies, the Radio Shack charger has been a great investment that has served its purpose well. Also, it can charge other brands of batteries, not just Radio shack brand.

  • Lana says:

    I never pay for batteries anymore. I have Ingles Supermarkets and they put Ray O Vacs on sale for $1 about every 4-6 weeks. I use the $1 coupons to get them for free. We have alot of free batteries stockpiled.

  • Amanda Y says:

    I can’t say that I have a good cost comparison since it’s been forever since I used non-rechargeable batteries (except once we bought the lithium long lasting ones for a trip)…but I truly think rechargeables are so much cheaper. I think we only paid about $16 (I think it was $18 MINUS $2 coupon) for Energizer’s charger and 8 AA batteries. We use them a lot, esp. in digital devices and they last for quite a while on one charge. Those 8 batteries in the past year have easily replaced 75 batteries or more and still have plenty of life in them, so I’m pretty sure, that’s the cheapest way to go. By the way we got the Energizer ones (and they are rated by how much charge they hold, we got the middle of the 3 tiers). (Not to mention it’s much better for the environment…did you know you shouldn’t throw batteries away in your trash? They’re hazardous materials and should be recycled or disposed of at a designated sight!)

  • Anne says:

    Rechargeable batteries not only save money but they also save time (as well as helping to reduce waste). You save time in two ways, on hunting down deals on batteries all the time and having to recycle the used batteries. I have a charger and batteries I bought 5 years ago and I have never had to replace them. I keep a few extra rechargeable batteries on hand that are already charged to swap out with dead batteries. The dead batteries go back in the charger and then they’re ready for the next swap. It’s better for the environment, your wallet and your sanity. :0)

  • Jamie says:

    We use traditional disposable batteries in infrequently used items like toys and rechargable in more frequently used items (cameras, remotes, portable games, etc.)

  • christine says:

    check out http://www.call2recycle.org/ for places to recycle just plug in your zip.
    not a fan of rechargeables – traditional batteries produce toxins at point of mfr and disposal. rechargeables produce toxins throught its lifecycle. to recharge you need to consume electricity which is derived from burning coal (44% in US) which releases toxins into the environment. hopefully we’ll see the use of completely safe nano tech batteries as the int’l standard in our lifetime!

  • Kathryn says:

    My husband has been a professional photographer for about 10 years, so he has extensive experience with batteries of all kinds. He’s definitely found that rechargeables save money–if you buy the right ones and handle them correctly. It’s very important to buy rechargeables that have no “memory” and to drain your batteries completely before recharging, if possible. Otherwise, your batteries will recharge to a lower and lower level each time, eventually reaching the point where they don’t recharge at all.

  • Cynthia says:

    We’ve had luck at Wal-Mart for purchasing rechargeable batteries. Good price and quality.

  • Katie says:

    I tried rechargeable batteries about 7 years ago, when I was a newlywed. They just don’t last as long! I would have to recharge them very frequently, and they just didn’t have as much power as a new battery. I donated my charger and batteries and I’ve been buying new ones ever since.

  • Melba says:

    I’m gradually adding to my stock of rechargable batteries. With so many disasters and also the very real possibility of emps or solar flares knocking out the whole electric grid I want to be prepared. If you think this can’t happen then I implore you to do some research . Consider a solar battery charger.

  • Princess says:

    We use recharchables. Just make sure you recharge them overnight! We’ve caught ourselves running out of juice faster bc we didn’t charge them long enough. lol @Melba, thanks for the tip! I didn’t know solar battery chargers were available! =)

  • Allison V. says:

    We had a few sets of rechargables for our old digital camera, and over the years they lose their ability to hold a good charge. They got demoted to toys (we have few battery operated toys…noise-ah!). At about $10 for four Duracell AA rechargables (minus coupon savings), and countless charges, I know it has saved me money. I need to get a bunch of AAA for some other things around the house.

  • Beth T says:

    I’m realizing that my son doesn’t have a single toy that takes batteries… Also, we don’t really watch TV so I can’t remember the last time I replaced the TV remote batteries (*scratches head thinking*). The only thing in our house that runs on batteries right now is a single AAA battery wall clock and smoke detectors. That being said, Target has the $1 packs of batteries all the time in their dollar section and they last forever in these types of items. I’d suggest taking a look for them if you need cheap batteries. I used to use AA Energizer recharge-able ones and they stopped working after 3-4 charges in my old camera so I wouldn’t suggest them. It was a waste of money.

  • WilliamB says:

    Something to keep in mind is that batteries are hazardous waste – old fashioned lead-acid ones (if anyone still has them), newer lithium or other rare metals. Not all jurisdictions require them to be disposed as hazardous waste but they should.

    Usually rechargables are less expensive per use but even if they aren’t, please consider them for most uses anyway because disposing of batteries is nasty stuff.

  • Marsha M. says:

    I have an Energizer battery charger that charges batteries in 15 mins. This charger comes with an adapter to use in the car also. I did not know what a deal I had found until I went looking for another charger just for an extra. Most chargers take hours to charge. I won’t use anything but a 15 min. charger. It also charges any kind of rechargable battery. (i.e. Rayovak, energizer) It is a good idea to use cheap nonrechargable in things you hardly use (clocks, etc.)
    We have truly benefitted from rechargables!

  • Kelly says:

    As many others have written, it is quite easy to find rechargables priced cheaply. The environmental cost make these totally worth it. We’ve been using these for years, and for the things that do come with disposables, we keep the dead ones in a box to be recycled.

  • B says:

    As a photographer I have found that most rechargables aren’t that dependable. They also get very weak after 4-5 charging sessions. I am not sure you will see much savings if it is something you use often, in that you will be replacing the recahrgable batteries often.
    Also, sometimes rechargable batteries can ruin electronics if they are going bad.

  • Celia says:

    Use $1/1 Energizer coupons on the Rayovac/EverReady brand in the $ spot at Target for FREE batteries. They are an Energizer brand. I have yet to pay for them which I find frugal. The only downside is be sure and recycle or it is a waste!

  • Joy says:

    We have only used AA rechargable batteries, but they have saved us a bunch of money. I only put them in wiimotes, our Apple wireless keyboard and mouse and few other items. I don’t want to forget what toys I put them in! I’ve bought mine off of “deal a day” sites such as http://www.shnoop.com and http://www.woot.com. I’ve found them there pretty cheap. We have NiZn rechargable batteries right now and they work great!

  • Lacy says:

    It seems like a common theme here is toys using tons of batteries. I’m trying to limit the number of battery opperated toys for my son (he is 9 mo). He has a few toys that take batteries that we’ve chosen not to put batteries in (e.g. little people toys) He doesnt know the difference 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Rechargable bataries are the way to go, IMO. I still buy disposables when they are free or close to, but we use rechargables in things like our remote controls.

  • Bridget DeLembo says:

    We have 3 children & go thru batteries like mad as well. We’ve been using rechargeable ones for years but find that they lose their charge much quicker than disposable ones especially the more you recharge them. I don’t think they are really worth the investment!

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