couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Which battery gives you the best bang for your buck?

One of the items on my to-bring-back list is batteries.  No matter what brand I pick, the batteries I buy in Israel seem to last about 35 seconds.  The rechargeable batteries have an even shorter lifespan.  The problem is, batteries are so heavy that it is very difficult to bring them back.  So I was thrilled to read this article in Yisrael HaYom which explains WHY the Israeli batteries don’t last- it is because many of them are zinc-carbon batteries, also known as “heavy duty” batteries which don’t last nearly as long as alkaline batteries.  They are cheap, though, and unfortunately Israelis (and new olim) are attracted to the price.  Therefore, aliyah tip #8- make sure you buy alkaline batteries (if you buy disposable).  Alkaline batteries last approximately 4-5 times as long as zinc-carbon batteries.  There is another type of battery you might find on the shelves- lithium-ion batteries, which last 5 times longer than alkaline batteries, but also cost much more.

What about rechargeable batteries?  They should last for approximately 300 charges, but most of them don’t get used that much because they get lost, or the charger gets lost, or people lose patience waiting for them to recharge.  Many people see the high price up front and balk.  If rechargeable batteries are actually used for 300 charges, they are cheaper than alkaline batteries.

What makes one battery different than another?  Panasonic, for example, has a special standard that doesn’t allow the battery to leak so that increases their price.  Each manufacturer can pack a battery differently and that affects how long they last.

Tips for longer battery life:

  1. Don’t keep batteries in the freezer.  Despite popular knowledge, this does not increase battery life but actually decreases it.  You can keep them in a refrigerator drawer but make sure to keep them in a plastic bag so they don’t leak and rust in the refrigerator.
  2. Give the batteries time to rest.  If you don’t plan on using the batteries until the end of their life, let them rest for 24 hours and it will lengthen their life.
  3. Take out the batteries.  If you leave batteries in a piece of equipment without using it, the batteries will start to leak and irreparably damage the equipment.

Finally, the results.  This first chart shows the battery life of different brands.

Are you surprised?  As I am sure you know, it is not only how long it lasts but how much it costs.  This next chart compares battery life to price and comes up with an “hours per shekel” rate.

I must say I was quite surprised by the results- were you?  The lesson learned today is don’t be afraid of the generic Super-pharm brand Life batteries.

Source: Yisrael HaYom

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