How I save $50 per year on batteries
I have a lot of small electronics and kids toys that use batteries. I used to spend a fortune on alkaline batteries (duracell, energizer, etc). My CD player would "eat" batteries in only a few hours of use.
I decided to invest in rechargable batteries, and I have been saving money ever since.
After a lot of research online, I decided to by NiMH batteries (the most common rechargable battery type). Supposedly, they can be recharged 1000+ times and actually hold more power than alkaline batteries.
I bought Powerizer batteries from Batteryspace.com. I bought a package of 24 AA batteries for around $35 (with no tax and free shipping) and I got a charger for $15. I charged the batteries (it takes several hours to charge, and my charger holds 4 at a time) and started using them in all my electronics and my kids toys. This includes a digital camera, CD player, MP3 player, remote controls for TV and radio, electronic musical toys, electronic educational toys, walkie-talkie type toys, small flashlights, etc etc etc.
I used to buy Energizer or Duracell batteries when they went on sale for around 60 cents per battery. We probably used at least 90 batteries per year ($54.00 total cost per year). I spent $50 for the rechargable NiMH batteries, but I can use them year after year. I also like the environmental benefit of reusing the same NiMH batteries instead of using disposable batteries.
The electronic gadgets all worked just the same with the Powerizer rechargables as they did with standard alkalines. Even better, the rechargable batteries actually lasted longer than the alkalines did, so I change batteries less frequently. I keep a bunch of batteries fully charged and ready to use anytime. I recommend keeping the spare charged batteries in the refrigerator because it supposedly helps keep the batteries from losing their charge while they are sitting idle.
I only have two concerns. First, the batteries are supposedly so powerful that they can be dangerous. You must not leave them lying around loose, because they can "short" against each other or against anything metal and cause a fire. When you buy the batteries from Batterspace.com, make sure that you are getting the plastic holders to store the charged batteries (the plastic holders came free when I purchased from Batteryspace online). Similarly, I would not put these batteries in any toy that goes in or near water. I'd be concerned that someone could get a shock if the toy fell into the water.
My other concern is that the AA batteries that I purchased are a TINY bit larger than alkalines in both the length of the battery and the girth (width) of the battery. This makes it a bit more difficult to put the batteries into certain devices. I have always been able to get the batteries in the devices, but sometimes it takes a bit more effort.
Another possible down side is that if your kids lose the batteries, the batteries cost around $1.50 each.
There are lots of brands of rechargable NiMH batteries, so my comments only reflect my experience with Powerizers. I suppose that the same should be true of other brands as well.