Getting More Life from Batteries

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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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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When the batteries in my remotes stop working, I open the remote and roll them around.

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I was able to get a free digital multimeter with a coupon at Harbor Freight store. With the instrument, I can check batteries for voltage. You don't have to wonder anymore if a battery is good. I was throwing away batteries and they may have been still usable. Also I can check small flat batteries used in car remote controls and wrist watches.

A multimeter to test batteries.

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When a battery is supposedly not working anymore or running low for a particular gadget, do not toss it out! It can actually be useful for a different gadget or as a spare.

A collection of batteries in a container.

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March 21, 2005

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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I have a battery powered drill. A friend told me that if I stored the batteries in their boxes instead of in the drill, they would last longer.

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May 13, 2008

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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16 Questions

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, 2008

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 kerra

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 Anna

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.


January 13, 20070 found this helpful

Hi gang!
I've been using two Nikon Lithium Ion batteries for three years. I purchased them when I bought my digital camera and I charge them regularly.
I have taken several thousand pictures with these two batteries and I recommend Lithium rechargable batteries to any person who wants a dependable battery. The fact that such batteries exist proves that the larger batteries in Electric Cars are feasible and that Electric cars have been deliberately sabotaged by General Motors. Watch the Video "Who Killed the Electric Car."

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January 13, 20070 found this helpful

The only thing I have to add where batteries are concerned is to be careful trying to save money. We put a well known generic battery in our son's portable CD player - - brand new CD player I might add. The very same day that the batteries were put in, they leaked an oily substance everywhere. It completely trashed out the CD player. The batteries were actually bubbling this stuff all over the place. This was one of those instances where using a generic did not save money.

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January 15, 20070 found this helpful

Putting batteries in the fridge to extend their "shelf life" really does work! There is a chemical reaction that slowly depletes batteries even if they are just at rest. Cooler temperatures slow the reaction, higher temperatures speed the reaction. Do not freeze your batteries though.

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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,



February 2, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Mary,

I read recently that putting them in the freezer or refrigerator does not extend their life, however, I still do that. lol

Northern Virginia

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February 2, 20050 found this helpful

I read that it is best to keep them at room temperature. They are exposed to moisture in the refrigerator or freezer.

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February 3, 20050 found this helpful

Storing Batteries

Jim Tessmar is the owner of The Battery Hut in Burbank, Calif. Here he offers us advice on how to store batteries properly:

* Myths. According to Tessmar, there are a lot of battery storage myths out there, but the most prevalent one is that you should keep your batteries in the refrigerator or freezer. While this may have been sound advice in the old days, battery technology has changed over the years, and cold storage is no longer the place for batteries.

* Room temperature. The best place to keep batteries is somewhere thats dry and at room temperature, like a kitchen cabinet.

* Heat and flame. Never keep your batteries in extreme heat or near an open flame. Tessmar believes that the chances of explosion due to heat are slim, but it does happen, and youre always better off safe than sorry.

* Long life. Quality batteries are made to have long shelf lives. Stored properly in your kitchen drawer or similar location, batteries can last from 3 to 5 years and still work great when you put them into a device. Many brands have sell-by dates on the package, and these can help you determine if youve still got fresh, strong batteries on your hands.,1663,FINE_1422_1466497,00.html

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By Dino Papadi (Guest Post)
May 17, 20060 found this helpful

This is a cool old school link on the topic

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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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June 14, 2013

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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January 28, 2018

Batteries are used in electronic products we use every day. Being a responsible battery user can help maximize usage, as well as, reduce waste and pollution. This is a page about battery basics!


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July 18, 2017

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 page about making a watch battery last longer.

Men's wrist watch.

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