As a kid with very limited funds, one of my favorite Radio Shack promotions was their “Battery of the Month Club.”
Here’s how it worked: You would go into your local Radio Shack, sign up and be issued a card. Bring the card back each month and redeem for one free standard Radio Shack ‘AA’, ‘C’, ‘D’, or 9-volt transistor battery. The salesperson would mark off that month on the back of the card. Return next month and repeat the process.
This was an ingenious promotion. Batteries only cost a few cents each, so this was a cheap way to bring people into the store. The hope, of course, was that you would purchase expensive electronics gear while you were there. You only received ONE free battery. So unless you got a 9-volt cell, you needed to purchase between 1 to 7 more batteries to power anything. As I said, ingenious!
I quickly figured out how to “work” Radio Shack’s Battery of the Month Club. We were lucky enough to have about 5 stores in our area, so I obtained one card for each store. Then, I had my mother and little sister do the same. There was no age limit and each card was exclusive to that store, so this was completely “legal.” About once per month, I’d have Mom make the rounds so we could collect our free batteries. Usually 9-volts, since these were the most expensive and also because I used them the most. Quick math shows I was able to obtain about 15 free batteries per month. Just enough to keep all my equipment running without having to shell out any allowance money!