As many of you have no doubt noticed, the boyfriend's house has one of the rockingest A/V setups around. However, between two controllers for the wii, a wii fit, four Rock Band guitars, two xBox controllers, a Rock Band drum kit, and six remote controls, the boyfriend's house eats double-A's like Jaba the Hut. That's about 50 AA's in various handheld devices at any given time. Costco's Kirkland AA's are about 25 cents each, and since we need to replace them in each device probably twice a year, that's about $25 per year in batteries just for tv and video games. So, we started looking into rechargeables.
The best charger I could find comes with four AA's (and four AAA's), and is about $40. On top of that, we need about 46 Eneloop rechargeable batteries (the good kind that hold their charge) at $2.50 each, for a total of $155. That was all well and good until I discovered that Costco was selling packs of ten Eneloop batteries and a charger for $19.98. Oh, beautiful, bargain-hunting bounty!
Prior to this stellar deal, it would have taken considerable use to justify the expense, but since our cost is down to $100 total, it will only take us four years to re-coup the cost. The manufacturer claims that the batteries will last for 1000 recharges. In my example, we would only have recharged them eight times in four years, so in theory we could continue using them for another 496 years. I can find no information on how long the batteries will last, but I highly doubt I will get my 1000 recharges in. The Sanyo website says ten years is not an unreasonable expectation. If we could get ten years, that would be the equivalent of $250 worth of batteries, so we could save $150. An extra fifteen bucks a year isn't exactly going to send us back to Europe anytime soon, but it will save 950 batteries from going into the landfill. The return on investment is even better where you have a few batteries that are recharged frequently--such as in a camera. I would get a Costco membership and a freezer or extra insulation in the attic or even a box fan first, but if you already have those, this is a good investment.