Buying Batteries? Beware of Generics

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Store brands may save you money on household necessities, but generic batteries might not be your best bet, according to recent tests comparing name brand and store brand batteries.

CVS (Stock Quote: CVS) AA Long Lasting alkaline batteries didn’t actually last longer than other batteries tested under the same conditions by Consumer Reports.  In fact, those generics had less than half the power as Panasonic Evolta alkaline batteries, Consumer Reports found.

Among the longest-lasting AA batteries overall were the Energizer (Stock Quote: ENR) Ultimate single-use lithium battery which took 678 pictures before dying, compared with 92 shots taken with a camera using the CVS batteries.  As a group, lithium batteries lasted the longest, but budget-friendly rechargeable batteries performed nearly as well, Consumer Reports said.

And rechargeables like those made by Energizer and Duracell (Stock Quote: PG), could be your best bet for use in digital cameras and favorite toys, Consumer Reports suggests.

For remote controls, flashlights and other devices, alkaline batteries might be your best bet since their charge could last you several years, while rechargeable ones can lose their charge over time, as MainStreet previously reported.

Consumers may not want to rule out store-brand batteries completely, however. Kirkland Signature AA batteries, sold at Costco (Stock Quote: COST) only in packs of 48, lasted nearly as long as the Panasonic batteries, according to Consumer Reports.

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