I seem to go through a lot of batteries since my baby was born (even sizes like C and D which I had practically forgotten even existed since I got rid of my boom box and gave up break dancing in the eighties). These are some of the new baby appliances that use batteries: white noise machine (3 AAs), vibrate mode on swing (1 D size battery), swing and music mode on swing (3 C sized batteries), diaper pail (4 D batteries), etc. etc. Even before she was born, however, I always seemed to have a regular use for AAs in things like my XBox controllers, remote controls, wall clocks, etc. We are also dependent on the batteries that power our cell phones, our iPods, our laptops, our cordless phones, our electric toothbrushes, etc. Like it or not, we live in a battery-reliant world.
The problem is that batteries are really expensive. In the two weeks since Willow was born, I have gone through the equivalent of 12 C batteries, 8 D batteries, and 12 AA batteries. Cs and Ds are around $2-3 each, or about $4-6 per 2 pack (depending on the quality of battery that you buy). AAs are about $1 a piece (but become less expensive if you buy larger packages). Using these numbers, over the past two weeks I have the equivalent of over $70.00 worth of batteries. That’s a LOT of money.
In order to reduce these battery costs, we have decided to use rechargeable batteries in our home. The high up front cost (we spent around $100.00 for our charger, 4 D cells, 4 C cells, and 8 AA cells) may seem very steep at first, but is one of the greatest money saving values out there when you calculate the long-term savings that you will enjoy from your upfront investment. In fact, we have almost saved our entire upfront cost in only two weeks.
The charger that we bought is terrific for a couple of reasons:
1. Cool LCD display shows charging progress for each separate battery being charged inside it.
2. Fast charging times. It seems to charge everything in under three hours or so.
3. Charge different cell sizes at the same time. I am charging 2 Ds and 2 AAs as we speak.
You can find chargers at just about any electronics store. Here is a link to the charger at Amazon if you would like to order it online (it’s also almost $15.00 cheaper than what I paid at The Source):
I should also add that rechargeable battery technology has improved quite a bit over the years. I remember powering both my Walkman and my boombox with rechargeable batteries that I used to buy at Radio Shack back in the early eighties and they never seemed to power even a full day of use. These NiCad batteries also had a memory that meant that the battery had to be fully discharged before recharging or the battery wouldn’t charge properly ever again. The new NiMh (or nickel-metal hydride) batteries are a significant improvement.
In my opinion, rechargeable batteries are a must have in every frugal living home as they are a great money saving tool.
Another frugal living idea brought to you by froogalism.com