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Getting More Life from Batteries

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Getting More Life from Batteries
With so many household and personal gadgets requiring batteries, there are ways to save money and the charge. This guide is about getting more life from batteries.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 13 found this helpful
July 22, 2008

Although I always try to use rechargeable batteries, once in a while, I have none charged for my camera and need to buy some if going to an event. I have found that when these batteries die out for the camera, they still work just fine in a less energy demanding item.

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By 6 found this helpful
August 15, 2011

I store my batteries in Ziplock bags in the fridge. It's simple enough to just have a different bag for each size. They are easy to access, and supposedly storing them in the fridge will give them longer life! I mostly store them there because then I know where they are!


By Pam T. from Storm Lake, IA

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By 1 found this helpful
March 22, 2006

When the batteries in my remotes stop working, I open the remote and roll them around. They will work for a long time yet. I even do it a few times more and they will work again. It sure saves on buying batteries.

By Betty from Fond du Lac, WI

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March 21, 20051 found this helpful

I have a preventative tip to avoid those times when it's difficult to remove the dead batteries from electronics equipment. Whenever I need to replace batteries in anything, I put a long strip of tape around each battery, leaving a "tail" hanging.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 14, 2005

Household batteries include both single-use and rechargeable dry cell batteries used to power toys, cameras, radios, flashlights, hearing aids, and many other portable products.

a pile of batteries

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By 1 found this helpful
August 20, 2013

I have a battery powered drill. The batteries for it cost over $11 each and it takes 2 batteries. I only use the drill a few times a year. A friend told me that if I stored the batteries in their boxes instead of in the drill, they would last longer. It works! Sometimes the batteries need to be recharged before the drill will run if it hasn't been used for a long time, but I always check the night before.


Now I always take the batteries out of anything - camera, walkman tape player, radio, etc. - when I know I won't be using it for a long time. This will also keep you from being surprised by leaking, crusty batteries that have been sitting for far too long.

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July 18, 20170 found this helpful

Stopping a watch when you are not using it is a great way to ensure the battery lasts as long as possible. This is a guide about making a watch battery last longer.

Men's wrist watch.

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May 13, 20080 found this helpful

In regards to your tip about putting flashlight batteries in backwards to prevent accidental discharge, many designs of flashlights will allow them to operate even if both batteries are reversed. Also, even one battery reversed will allow discharge if accidentally switched on.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 18, 20081 found this helpful

Remote Control Batteries

We find the TV remote controls take a lot of battery power. After a few months, the remotes won't respond to changing the channel, etc. However, those same used batteries are still powerful enough to operate stereo headsets for some time!

By D. Heil

Store Batteries in the Fridge?

One very common tip is to store batteries in the refrigerator or freezer to make them last longer. Both Energizer and Duracell claim this has no impact on battery life and recommend storing batteries in a cool, dry place. One point all battery manufacturers seem to agree on is that batteries shouldn't be stored in extreme heat.

IKEA Batteries

If you live near an IKEA, buy your AA batteries there. They are only $1.95 for a pack of 10 and they perform just as well as the expensive name brands!

By Erin

Bulk Batteries

I buy batteries in bulk and save a bundle over buying the little packages at the grocery store. Costco and I believe Sam's Club both sell large packages of Duracells for a good price.

By Joe

Pencil Eraser

If you take a pencil eraser and rub both ends of the battery, it will make them last a little longer!

By Michelle

Batteries for Toys

On toys, because kids will only play with a toy for a little while then move on, buy the cheapest batteries you can find. Wal-Mart sells some batteries for 96 cents. If you find they use the toy a lot, start using better batteries.

By BrookesMommy

Remove Batteries

Remove batteries from electronics that aren't being used for an extended period of time.

By Rinky

Rechargable Batteries

I use the rechargeable batteries by Rayovac (AA and AAA) in everything and I can say they are worth their weight in gold. I have recharged them literally 100's of times and they just keep working. I have saved hundreds of dollars in battery money. I have 8 batteries and the charger holds 4 and they get switched almost daily. They are more expensive to invest in but over the long haul the difference is unreal.

The only problem I have is the kids use them and sometimes misplace them so now I have them exchange their drained batteries for recharged ones. If they get caught stealing them, they have to buy their own and replace mine. I am tough about that but they cost $10 for 4 batteries. After charging them 100's of times they are worth the price.

The charger was about $20 but it has lasted over 2 years and been dropped, so it is a tough little thing. I really think very highly of these and I am a total critic about where my money goes. I still have the original 8 batteries going and use them in my headphones daily.

By H.J.

Rechargables For Your Camera

Use rechargeable batteries. I bought them for my digital camera and now use them for everything.


Make Sure You Get The Right Batteries

Be sure the buy the batteries recommended in your digital camera manual or batteries which specifically state that they can be used in digital cameras. Most digital cameras will work a lot longer with high-end disposable batteries. Lower end batteries may only give you 10 minutes of operation time.

By Fisher

Get To Know Your Batteries

When using a cell phone or cordless phone, learn about the type of battery you have. Some are designed to last longer if continually charged and some will last longer if left to go dead in between charges. Save on the pocket book, and the irritation of battery failure, by getting to know your batteries.

By Barbie


A common battery in cordless phones and computers is nickel-cadmium. Ever wonder why your nickel-cadmium (NiCad's) don't last as long as they should? You may be overcharging them. Most people's tendency is to put the phone back on the charger between uses, or to use their laptop plugged-in instead of running down the battery, never letting the battery run down too far. Over time this will reduce the amount of charge your battery can hold.

To help condition your batteries, let your phone or computer batteries run down once a month to the point that the battery is nearly out of life. Then charge it fully. This will prolong the life of the battery and maintain the length of charge you expect for longer.

Flashlights that Don't Require Batteries

Keep a flashlight in your house that doesn't require batteries. You can buy flashlights that can be charged by winding them up or shaking them. If you run out of batteries, you won't be left in the dark if there is a power outage.

Also See:

Do you have any more tips for saving money on batteries? Please post them below.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 16, 20080 found this helpful

Don't throw used AA or AAA batteries. I usually keep them and use them if my wall clocks' (I have seven wall clocks at home) batteries no longer work.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 1, 2005

My question is... Does putting batteries in the freezer extend their life? I have been told that it does. Can someone answer this question. Thank you,


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March 10, 20090 found this helpful

Freezing batteries usually kills them. I accidentally left some out in our garage for a few days - the air temperature was around -15 'C (A home freezer should be about -18 'C). When I tried them, they were all dead.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 3, 2008

How long should a battery in a cordless phone last? Mine is just 2 years old and says low battery and will not hold a charge for more than 5 minutes. A new battery for this phone is $26.00. How do you take care of a cordless phone to make the batteries last longer? Is there a way to extend this batteries life? Is there such a thing as a generic phone battery? Thanks for reading and I will appreciate any and all advice.

Helen from Sassy

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May 9, 20090 found this helpful

I've also gotten batteries from and they are great! I've gotten batteries from there that I never would have thought replacement batteries were made for! And the prices are extremely reasonable. Especially when you consider the cost of replacing the item.

But it does sound like your battery is defective. Plus, as Mary T said, keeping it on the charger all the time when it's not in use will cause the battery life to be shortened big time. I let mine run down completely about once a month. Then give it a full charge. So far it's done great.

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June 14, 20130 found this helpful

Can a watch battery go dead with the stem pulled out? I replaced a bunch of watch batteries and left the stem out on all of them. They went dead after 2 years. How long should they last with stem out? I kind of forgot about them, so was surprised when they were all dead!

By Carol from St. Joseph, MO

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June 16, 20130 found this helpful

Some watches disconnect the power with the stem out, some don't possible. We buy batteries real, real cheap at the flea market.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 18, 20100 found this helpful

As soon as I return home from work, I take my watch off. I always pull the pin out to stop the time and therefore save on battery usage. It only takes a second in the morning to set the time and I won't have to replace the battery as often.

By Kathy from Houston, TX


Making a Watch Battery Last Longer

My mornings are busy and I would forget to push it back in. I have never had to replace a battery in any of my watches. By the time they go dead, I am ready for a new style. My watches usually last 3 or more years! Of course my watches don't cost much because I am rough on watches. (05/21/2010)

By Teresa Kay

Making a Watch Battery Last Longer

I have very good watches. My oldest is around 25 years old. Batteries don't go dead so often that I would ever think to save money this way. They usually last YEARS for an $8 investment. (05/21/2010)

By Beth

Making a Watch Battery Last Longer

I would be worried that pushing/pulling the pin daily would shorten the life of the watch. Considering batteries last five or more years, I am not sure I would risk my watch this way. If you are not going to wear it for a period of time, it sounds like a good idea. (05/22/2010)

By Jilson

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May 21, 20100 found this helpful

Would it help my watch battery last longer if I pulled the pin at night so it didn't run for that period of time? I have 2 watches and they always go dead about the same time.

Sandy from Baltimore


Making a Watch Battery Last Longer

Yes, most definitely a watch battery will last longer if the stem of the watch is pulled out when not being worn. That is, if you can remember to do it. I have too many watches , of course, mostly inexpensive ones that serve also as jewelry you might say. I switch off watches depending on my outfit and mood. Usually I just don't remember to pull the stem out but when I have done it, the battery has lasted longer. Also, when you pull the stem out, it means having to take a second or two to reset the watch. I guess I usually just don't take the time to mess around with the watches and just take them off and put them on and hope for the best on the battery. By the way, I get my watch batteries changed at Wal-Mart where it is less than $3. That is quite a bit cheaper than having it done at a jeweler. (07/13/2006)

By Debbie52

Making a Watch Battery Last Longer

I have a lot of watches and one day took 8 watches to Walmart to get the batteries replaced and it was $17. That was a lot to spend on batteries at one time, so now I pull the stem every time I take a watch off and it only takes a second to reset it next time you wear it. That was before Christmas and none of the batteries have went out yet! (08/24/2006)

By suzi_homemaker01

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