My wife will tell you I am cheap, I try to drag the last ounce of life out of everything. We use a lot of Eneloop rechargeable batteries, but because of the number of alkaline batteries we have had in storage we also use them. Now I have noticed that just because a flashlight, radio or what have you, goes dead not all the batteries do. Owning a cheap battery tester saves us a bit of money.
I bought a battery tester at our local Radio Shack for a few bucks (probably the best buy I ever made at Radio Shack). Everytime one of my gadgets runs out of juice, I check the batteries prior to throwing them away. Most of the time, I find that not all the batteries are dead. It is very rare to find them all dead.
Now having a battery tester saves me a few batteries and under normal conditions is not going to make or break me. But after TEOTWAWKI, who knows.
Regardless of the articles and videos that are showing up all over showing you how to drop an alkaline battery and tell if it is good, I would get a battery tester. I have tried the drop test and while it seems to work part of the time, I would not want to rely on it if my life depended on it. Beside the drop test will not work with lithium and some other types of batteries.
If you decided to use rechargeable batteries, I recommend you use the Eneloop batteries. A review of the Eneloop NiMH Batteries They can be charged up to 1500 times and will hold a charge for up to three years.
If you store alkaline batteries, I suggest you follow the guidelines shown in the following post. How to Store batteries