A wind-up flashlight!
I know these have been around for awhile. But it's got a new use for me. Every time the power went out it was a struggle between my kids wanting to feel comfortable by having their own flashlight,
and me wanting to save the batteries because this could be "the big one" - you know, the one power outage that lasts days and there's a run on C and D batteries and flashlights.
And then I found these. Originally a gift for my husband (who can NEVER find a flashlight when he needs one), they quickly turned into toys for my kids. They love it when the power goes off now. They love playing in a dark basement (saves some electricity for me!). They love to crank the handle and charge them up.
And I don't fret about the batteries.
It's a win-win. Only my husband loses...his gift is no longer really his.
But now I know what to get him for his birthday :).