Lidl and Aldi batteries are best value for money
If you insist on long life batteries, prices vary widely. A Which! survey found that the cheapest place to buy Duracell is at Asda, where two packs of four AA batteries were £6.17. The most expensive place was Waitrose, where they can set you back £7.64. Prices have since fallen, but still, that's a big difference.
Obviously, Duracell and Energizer keep appliances going for a couple of hours longer than value batteries. But you'll be paying dearly for those two hours. The average own brand AAA battery costs 10p per hour, and 12p for AAs. But Lidl, Aldi and Maplin Value batteries cost just 2p to 4p per hour. Batteries made by Duracell and Energizer, meanwhile, cost between 16p and 23p per hour.
But if you want a value for money, and a cheap, cheerful, short lived bang for your buck, best just to stock up with budget Aldi ones and keep replacing them. They might only last a few hours, but they're so cheap you could probably afford a cupboard full of the buggers - and little Jimmy's face on Christmas morning won't be streaked with tears of disappointment.