Long-Lasting AA Batteries

We burn through a staggering amount of batteries-several million a year. Double-A batteries are the most popular. Just in time for the holiday crunch, Consumer Reports' results are in on which last the longest.

Melissa Gabriel was actually given batteries as a baby shower gift!

Gabriel says, "My friend who had had kids before said you have no idea how much you're going to need these all the time."

Two boys later, Melissa is constantly buying batteries.

Double-A Batteries are the biggest sellers. They're commonly used in flashlights, digital cameras, remote controls, and toys.

Consumer Reports tested a dozen, including big names like Energizer, and store brands like Walgreens and CVS.

Testers used a rack to evaluate battery performance. It's programmed to mimic a digital camera and a flashlight. The tests turned up big differences.

The Eveready Gold-the worst batteries-took only 52 shots before dying.

The Energizer Ultimate Lithium-the best-took 682 shots. But they're expensive-more than two dollars and fifty cents per battery.

Sarah Goralski, of Consumer Reports, says, "Lithium batteries do cost more, but they can be worth it for digital cameras and other high-drain devices."

Among alkaline batteries, top ratings went to the Duracell Ultra Power for about a dollar a battery.

Goralski says, "Alkaline batteries don't tend to last as long, so they're better for low-drain devices like flashlights or remotes."

And for families like Melissa's, who use a lot of batteries to power toys, Consumer Reports says rechargeable batteries are best.

Lithium batteries and rechargeable batteries should be recycled.

And while many places allow you to throw out alkaline batteries, Consumer Reports says it's good to recycle those, too.

Go online to Earth911.com to look for a recycling center near you.

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