Another Don’t Be a Mule Moment: Batteries

by David Bakke

batteriesOne thing that any parent should know is that around any holiday, whether it be your child’s birthday, Christmas, or any other gift-giving holiday, that a good supply of batteries is always a necessity.

Nothing is worse than a child tearing open a new gift, and wanting awfully to play with it, only to be told that he/she needs to wait because there are no batteries.

On top of that, batteries are not cheap.  By any stretch of the imagination.

Therefore, I want to share with you a recent experience that I had with batteries, and then give you some general pointers on purchasing them.

We gave our son one of those work bench type things for Christmas.  He really loved it!  It came with a battery operated drill, all the screwdrivers you could ask for, a variety of other tools, and a few battery operated saws.  I had batteries on hand for the entire set up except for a little flashlight that came with the set.  It called for some button cell batteries (I think the model number was AG13). 

I was unaware of this, so we had to put off getting the flashlight to work.  It was no big tragedy, because the rest of the workbench was fully functional.  I had never even heard of this type of battery before, so later on in the day, I went off to the drugstore to pick some up.  To my shock and surprise, these tiny little batteries came in packs of three at the store I went to for the wonderful price of almost $10!  For three little batteries.


Well, right away I decided that we could wait a little while longer before getting batteries to the flashlight.  This price just sounded a little too ridiculous.  I zipped back home, did a two minute search on the internet, and lo and behold, what did I find?   A pack of 10 for $2.88 shipped.  No lie….

I think the moral of the story is obvious.  Here, in a nutshell, are my thoughts on purchasing batteries.

Always, always buy them on sale.  They’re on sale just about all the time, plus you can usually find coupons for them too.  It one of those fairly pricey things that you should always at least be able to find some kind of discount on.

Always, always buy in bulk.  Again, if you’re a parent you are going g to need lots of these for a long time coming.  I would never get less than a 24 pack or so of the AAs or the AAAs-the savings will definitely add up over time.

There are two sides to the “buy generic” or “buy quality” issue.  I won’t get into if there is a difference in quality or not, because I honestly have no idea.  Here is what I have come up with.  I usually tend to buy a combination of the two.  I buy the discount ones for my childrens’ toys.  I buy the high quality ones for emergency type uses—flashlights, battery operated radio, smoke alarms, etc. Because if the cheapies don’t last as long, it’s less stressful if a toy stops working rather than a flashlight in a thunderstorm.  Plus, if your kids tend to leave their toys on all the time like mine do, you’ll be draining away less expensive batteries.

Batteries.  A small issue in the grand scheme of things, but if you decide to change your mindset and adopt this new buying attitude, you’ll save yourself a good bit of money in the long run and it takes up no extra time from your daily life.

Got a comment on my words??  Please share!  I love feedback.

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