Christian bands go through 9V and AA batteries quicker than the Federal government spends your tax dollars. There is not a lot you can do about the country’s spending habits. But you can cut your band’s expenses by purchasing batteries inexpensively and using them wisely.
Here’s what does not work well:
● Using rechargeable batteries. Why? Rechargeable batteries need to be recharged regularly—not so easy to do when you are on the road or playing multiple shows in one day. CLICK HERE for a great explanation of rechargeable batteries.
● Using lesser quality, cheap batteries. These batteries will probably get you through a set in a pinch, but really do not last as long as name brand batteries.
Here’s what most people agree works well:
● Use a higher quality brand name battery for long-lasting reliability.
● Use a new battery at each performance.
● Use batteries left over from performances at practice and during song writing sessions.
That means if your band plays 50 shows a year, you will need 50 batteries for each instrument or mic that needs them. If you have only 3 items that need batteries, you will use 150 batteries per year. If you are paying full price for those batteries at your local convenience store you could be paying over $800 per year just for batteries!
Here’s how to bring those battery costs down:
Buy batteries in bulk from an industrial supplier on-line.
Today I found Duracell 9V batteries from cheapbatteries.com for $1.25 each if you buy 12 or more and $1.10 each if you buy 72 or more. You have to pay shipping on top of that, but they charge exactly whatever UPS charges if you order more than $25. So, the same 150 batteries you were paying over $800 for now costs just over $200, depending on how much your shipping is. You just saved $600! Cheapbatteries.com is not the only battery supplier on-line and prices change almost daily. Batterywarehousedirect.com is a site that I have often seen recommended. So, check prices, quantities, and shipping costs to get the best deal for you. Half an hours worth of work searching and comparing prices can save you several hundred dollars.
The other advantage to buying batteries in bulk is that the band always has extra batteries with them. I can’t count the number of times I have been asked to go buy a battery during sound check by bands I barely knew. This looks extremely unprofessional and is very inconvenient. My husband’s band always carried extra batteries and has been able to give a battery in an emergency to other bands. This doesn’t seem like much, but if your band is the band in need it means a lot; it is an amazing witness to Christian bands working together and helping each other.
So what if your band doesn’t have $75 to invest in a case of batteries right now?
You can still save some money…
● Watch for BOGO (Buy One Get One) or 50% Off Sales at grocery stores, drug stores, and big box stores.
● Clip coupons – I now this is a girly thing to do, maybe your significant other will do it for you. If you can’t find coupons in the newspaper, try searching ‘printable battery coupons’ or ‘printable (Insert brand name of battery) coupons’.
● Combine sales and coupons to get the best price.
● Buy batteries on E-bay or Amazon—I did not find the prices for new batteries on E-bay to be anything to get too excited about, but they were still better than full price. Amazon prices are often better than E-bay prices, especially if you qualify for free shipping. Check both before ordering as battery prices change frequently.
Here’s the link to the Amazon Battery Page
Here’s the link to the E-bay Battery Page
Many musicians particularly like this battery for it’s long lasting durability:
DURACELL 9 Volt PROCELL Professional Alkaline Battery, Pack of 12
Need Free 9V Batteries for Practice?
Larger churches go through 9 Volt batteries as quickly as bands. Often, they have more slightly used batteries than they know what do with, so they give them away. These 9V batteries are not reliable for performances, but when your band is just starting out, practicing more than playing out, this can be a free source of batteries for you!
Remember to Recycle:
Be considerate of the planet God has given us and recycle your batteries when they are completely used up. There are probably many local places to recycle your batteries; my local library has a drop box. Can’t find a place? Search “recycle batteries in (insert your city and state)”.
New Gadget: Batt-O-Meter
I have not yet tested the Batt-O-Meter, but it is getting very good reviews. Here’s what their website says:
“Ever wonder how much juice your batteries have left? Maybe it’s an important stompbox on your pedalboard. Maybe it’s your active bass. Whatever it is, all you need is the Batt-O-Meter and you can do it. Just plug the gold-plated Power Probe into your instrument or gear’s 1/4″ input and it’ll test the life of the battery (without you having to get in there and remove it).
The Keith McMillen Instruments Batt-O-Meter will work with just about any battery-operated gadget with a 1/4″ jack input. Now you’ll never be left guessing before a performance – and you’ll save cash by using every battery to the max! Get the Batt-O-Meter.”
Have you use the Batt-O-Meter? Leave a comment and let all of us know how well it works for you.
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