Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Rechargeable Lives

G has got this thing about money saving tips.  Once I caught him sawing my dishwasher tablets (including the little red powerball) in half, as he had read that half a tablet was as good as a whole.  I have to admit that there was very little difference in the wash quality, but the dishwasher gave up the ghost soon afterwards – in protest or old age, we will never know…

And there are other things too – all the lights are now those energy saving bulbs where you can’t see anything, let alone read anything , we battle over the thermostat daily and nothing is left on standby.  There are some things that make absolute sense to me – having been the product of a war baby – like saving all the picture hooks and nails in little baby food jars in the garage, all the running spikes and rugby studs in a shoe box, the football boots in a bag in the loft, recycling cut up clothes to dusters, using old soap bars for woollen washes (well, we tried that once, the texture of gloop got to me so it was ‘disappeared’…) and using slightly bashed and bruised fruit in our juicer. And we all agreed that with our highly active lives we simply didn't have the time to make use of our Sky subscription, so we waved that good bye. But the thing that as a family we didn’t agree on initially is the concept of rechargeable batteries.

As you know, most of the modern kids toys nowadays require some sort of energy – and alas very few require just kinetic energy.  Remember the dog on wheels that we used to push, now replaced by a push-a-long woofing flashing Fisher Price equivalent?  Or the dinky car which is now remote controlled?  Or the simple skipping rope which now has a beat counter?  All of these and more require batteries.  And we all accepted it. Those mummies in the know would not dream of giving a toy without the batteries sellotaped to the outside of the package for there is nothing worse than a disappointed little face who can’t play with the new toy there and then.  And then the toy would be played with and played with and we would be raiding the other toys for batteries when the original ones failed.  And as the boys got older, we would still have the same issue with xBox controllers and remote controls.

So it wasn’t long before G invested in a battery recharger.  And it seemed to work.  About as well as half the dishwasher tablet.  The rechargeable batteries definitely didn’t have as long a life as the normal ones, but they could be recharged.  It seemed to take a fairly long time for the process of recharging, but with a good system, (G has one) we have never run out of batteries. And the kids, after initial moaning and groaning about the quality and concept of recharging, have actively sought out their own versions – hence we now have a recharging dock for the Wii courtesy of Little Man’s research on Amazon, those with electric toothbrushes recharge, and Middle Son’s latest gadget is an on the go recharger for his phone battery.

 I’m not yet sold on the whole idea – there’s nothing worse than when your Epilady runs out of power halfway through ripping out your leg hairs – but I am coming round to it.

In a dimly lit money saving type way.

I would love to hear your comments, and how you save money in your homes!