Being a Dad is not about saving money. Let’s face it, kids cost you more money than not in pretty much every way. Not that it matters. The look on my daughter’s face and the sweetness in her voice when she heads off to another room then decides she wants Dad to come along and turns around and says “Come to?” is worth more money than is in all the 401(k)s combined.
Still, if there is a way to make your child’s needs a little cheaper along the way, then do it! One way to save a little dough is with rechargeable batteries. As an added bonus, it can also save you some tears.
Depending on your philosophy, you kids may have dozens (or more) of toys that use batteries. Everything from the cute puppy that barks when squeezed to the train that drives itself across the floor singing (What color animals do you see? The monkey’s brown, and the crocodile’s green) takes batteries. The worst part is that your little one has no concept of batteries and can only wonder what the problem is as those batteries wind down and die. With rechargeable batteries, you can keep reusing them instead of constantly throwing them away and hoping you have new ones.
Smart Rechargeable Battery Strategy
Yes, rechargeable batteries are more expensive, so you want to buy them on sale. I’ve found that the drugstores Wallgreens and Rite Aid seem to put rechargeable batteries on sale pretty often, and usually for good prices. Watch your ads for sales and when they pop up, buy what you need plus a few more. Most toddler toys take AA batteries. The bigger ones will take C and D batteries.
As a way to save even more, get a hold of the plastic adapters that turn AA batteries into C and D batteries. These save you money in three ways. First, if you try and have four spare batteries in each size, that’s 4 AAA, 4 AA, 4 C, and 4 D or 12 total extra batteries to have laying around. With the adapters, you can cut that to just eight (4 AAA and 4 AA). The second way it saves you money is by not getting screwed over by the battery companies. And the third way it saves you money is by not needing a recharger that handles C and D batteries.
Rechargeable D Batteries are a SCAM!
In a shameful and very deceptive marketing strategy, the major battery companies (yes both of them) cheat customers by pretending that the rechargeable D batteries are just as powerful as the non-rechargeable D batteries, but they aren’t. Battery power is measured in mAh. That stands for milli-amp hours, but don’t worry about that. A rechargeable AA battery has 2500 mAh. The rechargeable D battery? 2500 mAh. What?
Yep, it is a big fat scam. This way when your rechargeable D batteries die fast, you will say, that rechargeables don’t last as long and go back to buying non-rechargeable batteries so that the battery company can keep making a profit off of you. If you use rechargeable batteries then you don’t have to buy them so often and their profits go down.
In fact, if you cut open a rechargeable D battery, you will find a rechargeable AA battery inside a container, just like your adapter. So, do not pay more for those rechargeable D batteries. Get the adapters instead.
Now, when you hear a toy running down or it just dies, pop in your ready to go rechargeables and put the ones you took out on the charger. Then you’ll be ready for the next time little Bobby’s favorite toy, “Sound funny.”