If you're looking for the best AA batteries, look no further than the house brand at one of my favorite stores!

Who makes the best battery?

A recent issue of Consumer Reports magazine rated AA batteries, and the only battery with the vaunted "Best Buy" checkmark is Costco Wholesale's Kirkland Signature (alkaline). It received a score of 80 out of 100 and has a unit price of 50 cents per pair -- though they're only available in 48 packs.

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A couple of Duracell batteries scored between 80 and 89 on the tally, but their prices are more than twice and almost three times the cost of the Kirkland Signature batteries.

The highest rated of all AA batteries was the Energizer Ultimate Lithium, which is mostly for cameras. But at $2.45 for a pair, that's almost five times the cost of the Kirkland Signature!

Consumer Reports tested a few other store brands too, including Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and Best Buy. The lowest-rated of them all was the Best Buy offering -- the Dynex High Capacity AA Alkaline. The Dynex is cheap at 31 cents per pair, but it only scored a 60. Now that is a private label you should *not* buy.

Know that when you go to look at batteries, most store brands will perform virtually identical to the name brand. That's because the store brands are made by the same name brand manufacturers.

As for Costco batteries, I cross a line sometimes that is totally wrong. I'll be in Costco and I'll see somebody put name-brand batteries in their shopping cart. I know it's not my place to do so, but I direct them to Kirkland Signature brand anyway. Oh, the looks I get when I do that!

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