Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday Thrifty Tip: Investing in Recharable Batteries

Welcome back to Thursday Thrifty Tip here at the Little Blue Bungalow. Thursday's posts are devoted in helping you save money as well as being creative with your time, household supplies and budget. My intent is to share practical tips on how our family stretches our budget on one modest income in an expensive economy. Joining me this week in my crusade are: Tracy, Genny, Anisa and Crystal. Please take the time to view their blogs for more ideas on saving your dollars and pennies.

Batteries. They are definitely an integral part of our high-tech society with battery operated toys, gadgets and household appliances. But... let's be brutally honest...they can expensive, especially in children's toys when they leave them on, push the same button 1,789 times during one day and/or leave flash lights on for extended periods of time. (Could I be talking for experience here?...Urgh.) Depending on brand, size and quantity in a pack, batteries can easily cost anywhere from $3.99 to $19.99 and add up quickly on your next shopping trip.

One of the greatest ways our family has cut back on the cost of batteries is by using rechargeable (nickel-metal hydride battery) batteries. Though there is an initial investment in the charging system, in the long run the value is instrumental in protecting the environment and saving you dollars. Our particular battery charging system (La Crosse Technology) was purchased off of (a great website for comparing pricing of products at different companies' sites) for around $29.99 about two years ago. In addition to the system, it came with 4 AAA batteries, 8 AA batteries and a handy dandy carrying case. (Not bad for an initial investment.)

The actual number of batteries you'll need will vary greatly depending on the type and quantity of electronic products you have requiring batteries. Over the years, we have continued to purchase more rechargeable batteries for our collection making sure to purchase them when deeply discounted. As the standard batteries have worn out we replace them with rechargeable knowing we may pay more a bit more ($2-3 per battery) initially but the priced value over the lifetime use of the battery is greater. It is an investment, but a wise one in the big picture.

In addition, to rechargeable batteries we also been careful to choose items that don't require the use of batteries, but have their own charging system. For example, we purchased a wind-up flashlight on clearance for $8.90 for Fiona about 18 months ago at Target. The item does not require any batteries. (Hallelujah!) It literally is the greatest invention as you never have to worry if the batteries are good in your flashlight during an emergency situation...just a few cranks've got light. Of course, not to mention, it is the greatest invention for kids as they LOVE flashlights. (Why it is so darn cool to sit in a dark bedroom with a flashlight I'll never know.) And as a parent, you'll just smile when you walk by their room and see the flashlight illuminating a teddy bear because you know they aren't "wasting batteries" and costing you money.

From inside the little blue bungalow,
Katie Jean
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Heather said...

another good place for rechargeable batteries is there is shipping but if you have at least $25.00 they will waive the shipping.


Genny said...

We had a 4AA and 4AAA Energizer recharable batteries along with a small charger, which has come in handy for our camera and remotes. This weekend, since we needed batteries for our flashlight and crib mobile, we decided to get a larger recharger and D batteries. We ended up going to Radio Shack and surprisingly, everything there was cheaper than Target. The sales clerk schooled us on rechargeable batteries - there are 2 kinds: the nickel-metal hydride as you mentioned and one other one that doesn't hold a strong charge as long as the nickel-metal hydride (I think it's nickel-cadium). And he said never to recharge Alkaline batteries because there's a risk/chance that those batteries would explode/catch fire. I was bummed to learn that because I was hoping we'd be able to reuse the existing batteries we already had...however, glad to know that those would be the last batteries we would throw away for a long, long time.