(CBS) — A new Christmas toy is no fun without them. But are you paying more than you need to for batteries?
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez has tips that could save you a bundle this holiday.
They bring toys to life. But as important as batteries are this time of year, buying them is often an afterthought.
Some may swear by name-brand batteries like Duracell. But Consumer Reports just did a study and Costco’s Kirkland batteries did just as well for a fraction of the price.
In a test of 15 popular AA batteries—name brand and store brand—Costco’s Kirkland performed just as well as Duracell Coppertops. While Duracells sell for 79 cents per battery at the local Target, the Kirklands earned the magazine’s “Best Buy” at just 27 cents each. That’s a savings of 52 cents per battery for Costco members.
But even there, old habits die hard.
“Duracell is our top-selling battery. I just don’t think people know about the Kirkland brand at this point,” Costco General Manager Steve Ftacek says.
Consumer Reports also rated CVS and Walgreens store brands “very good.” Both sell for 99 cents per battery
Is a brand name battery any different from a generic or a store brand?
“If you’re talking about alkaline batteries, the chemistry is always the same,” Illinois Institute of Technology physics professor Carlo Segre says.
He says the quality of manufacturing can vary, making the name brands a safer bet.
Duracell’s Quantum alkaline, costing $1.54 per battery, topped the best battery list, earning an “excellent rating” in the Consumer Reports study. It tied with two Energizer Lithium batteries that cost between $2 and $3 per battery.
Are they worth that price difference?
“They are for certain applications,” Segre says. “For example, when the lights go out. If you need a flash light, they will last a long time.”
But for a toy your child may leave turned on for hours after they’re done playing with it, Segre advises going cheap.
And a great tip Segre says will make your batteries last longer: Keep them in the freezer, where they’re less likely to discharge over time.