One of my daughter’s favorite toys is currently her Fisher-Price Friendly Flip Phone.
Like her mom and dad, she likes having her phone with her when she’s out and about, it’s in her room when she goes to sleep and she sometimes even sleeps with it.
So, when the phone’s batteries went dead, my husband made a special trip to Walgreens just to get new batteries for the toy. He spent roughly $13 on three Energizer 1.55 volt batteries, including tax. Then, when he got home, we saw that similar Fisher-Price phones retail for about $10 on Diapers.com and Toysrus.com.
In other words, we bought replacement batteries that cost more than what a replacement toy phone would cost. Instead, we probably should have just bought our daughter a new (and less worn out) version of the phone. Or, we should have at least skipped buying new batteries for her old phone.
So you don’t make the same mistake we did, today’s hint is to do this before you buy new batteries for a toy: Be sure compare the cost of replacement batteries for a toy with the toy’s cost.
If the batteries seem to cost more than the toy, shop around for a cheaper version of the batteries (DealNews has some helpful battery shopping tips), consider buying a new version of the toy instead or just don’t replace the batteries. In fact, many parents actually take batteries out of noisy toys to quiet annoying sounds.
Meanwhile, if many toys and other items in your house use the same type of batteries, you may also want to think about investing in rechargeable batteries, a strategy advocated by Trent over at The Simple Dollar.
Finally, it turns out that the batteries my husband bought at Walgreens can be found for cheaper than what he paid. During a recent search, for instance, I found them available for about $6 at Home Depot. Still, it’s questionable whether spending even $6 on new batteries for a $10 toy is worth it, especially considering the wear and tear that toddler toys go through.
What are your money-saving strategies for replacing – or not replacing – toy batteries?