Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The real cost of AA batteries

Anyone who has kids, or even just a bunch of electronics, has felt the pinch of the cost of batteries.

In a google search today, I found a report from WWBT (NBC 12 in Richmond, VA) listing the reporter's data from a flashlight experiment where she tested many different brands of AA batteries.

Her report provides a table of the type of battery, the cost of each, and the length in hours each burned.  But that didn't answer my question:  Which brand of battery is the best deal?

So using her data, I created my own spreadsheet and got some answers.

It is important to note that this is pretty unscientific.  For example, I added the Sunbeam 8-pack (for $1) from the Dollar Tree.  This is what we typically use around my house for kids toys, wireless mice, etc.  I made the (hopefully correct) assumption that these are the same as the 4 to a pack sunbeam batteries from this reporter's test.  This test also completely ignores the fact that batteries perform differently in different types of electronics.  For example one battery may perform better in a device with a low energy consumption, and another may work better in one with a high energy consumption.

But even for an unscientific test, the results are pretty interesting.

Here is what I came up with -- sorted with the best deals at the top.

Store Brand Price # in Package  Cost per Battery Hours Lasted2 Cost per Hour
Dollar Tree Sunbeam (8 to a pack variety) $1.00 8 $0.13      4.50  $     0.03
Costco Kirkland $12.79 48 $0.27      5.85  $     0.05
Dollar Tree Sunbeam $1.00 4 $0.25      4.50  $     0.06
Dollar Tree Eveready Gold $1.00 4 $0.25      3.55  $     0.07
Dollar Tree Panasonic Alkaline $1.00 4 $0.25      1.98  $     0.13
Walmart Duracell $3.77 4 $0.94      5.93  $     0.16
Dollar Tree Panasonic Super Heavy Duty $1.00 2 $0.50      2.77  $     0.18
Walmart Energizer $3.77 4 $0.94      5.18  $     0.18
Rite Aid Rite Aid $4.49 4 $1.12      5.45  $     0.21
CVS CVS $4.39 4 $1.10      5.15  $     0.21
Walgreens Walgreens $3.99 4 $1.00      4.65  $     0.21


Bill and Terry Tidwell said...

Finally someone answered my question!

Light said...

Very interesting unscientific research you found....Did you happen to look into any research about rechargeable batteries?