Jo’s Favorite Finds: Strawberries, Wasps and Battery Testers

I started a new feature here on the blog called Jo’s Favorite Finds.  In these posts, I’m going to share some things I’ve discovered.  You might already know about them…and some you might not.  Here are today’s featured items.

I love strawberries…but I hate strawberries.  I love to eat them but I feel like the moment they leave the store they are on a death spiral with a destiny to be rotten before I can eat them.

Seriously.  I can buy strawberries one day and the next, they are all spoiled.  UGH.  I have tried washing them when I get them home.  I’ve tried refrigerating them.  I’ve tried not refrigerating them.  It seems no matter what I do, they spoil.

Kalissa shared this idea with me.

When I get the strawberries home I wash them.


I take the stems off and cut them up.  I put half a pack of sweetener on them and shake them up.

They are good in the refrigerator for several days.  The last batch was in the refrigerator for four days.  Still good…they might have lasted longer but we ate them before they went bad.

On top of that, the strawberries are all clean and I eat them quicker.  So it’s a win all the way around.  I had gotten to where I didn’t enjoy strawberries anymore because I didn’t buy them because I felt like the second my hand touched the package in the store, they were starting to rot.

Since I’ve discovered this…I’ve not had a single bad strawberry.  WINNER!!  So excited about this.

Next…something simple and something everyone else probably knew except me.  Wasps.  We have so many wasps around here.  You might remember that I’ve had trouble in the past.  They have made little nests behind the door and window trim.  It was so bad at one point that I had to have an exterminator come.


One of the times I tried to take care of them myself and this happened.  UGH.


Well lookie here…a new year and a new nest.  BLAH!  In light of getting stung last time, I thought maybe I’d call my bug guy…but darn, that’s expensive.  I looked around the house and didn’t see any other nests so, maybe it was worth getting stung to rid of it myself.


Kalissa said that she used Hot Shot Wasp and Hornet.  She said it was easy.  She said I could stand on the ground a few feet away and the spray would reach them.  I was a little skeptical, but I’m a cheap skate and didn’t want to pay an exterminator.  $5 for the can sounded much better.


I sprayed the nest.  I was about seven feet away and the spray was still able to get to the nest.  The wasps crawled out and died.

I knocked the nest down…end of story.  No wasp stings…nothing.  It was the best experience I’ve ever had with wasps.  Don’t hesitate to use this spray. It’s so easy and much better than calling an exterminator.  You can find it HERE on Amazon.

I found another nest and used it again.  This time it was at the peak of the garage roof.  The spray was able to get it from the ground.  WOW.

Kelli and I were messaging the other and I wanted to know what she was doing.  She said checking out this really cool thing.  I asked what it was.  She said a battery tester.  She went on to explain that she was cleaning the junk drawer and found random batteries in the bottom and wondered if they were good.  She ended up buying this little tester.  You pop the battery in and then slide the orange part to trap the battery in place and the device tells you if your battery is good.  WIN!


I immediately went and found one and bought it.  For $8-ish this will save me some money.  I often go to the thrift store and buy a kids toy and don’t know if the toy is broken or the batteries are bad.

Also remember I had the smoke detector incident in the basement.  I ended up throwing out about three batteries thinking the batteries were a bad batch.

You can find the battery tester HERE.

Those are my latest finds.  While I was writing this I just went outside to take Rosie, my dog out.  Guess what I saw?  Another wasp nest.  Looks like this one will need a ladder and possibly Craig.  UGH.  This house has been terrible for wasps.

Do you have finds you’d love to share?  I things that save money or help make my life a little easier.

37 thoughts on “Jo’s Favorite Finds: Strawberries, Wasps and Battery Testers

  1. MarianneK

    It’s always amusing reading about people discovering what you’ve known for years. :)
    Except sugaring, fake or otherwise, strawberries. No thank you! :)

    Reply
  2. Penny

    I love that you share everyday stories with us, Jo and “new finds” is a great blog topic. We have wasps who visit when we eat outside. This totally freaks out our grandchildren. We can’t find a nest but assume they come from the orchard that butts up to our backyard. We tried a wasp trap last year but to no avail. I need to get another and hang it closer to the table.

    Reply
  3. Robin Frankie

    Hi Jo! I always enjoy your posts. I’ve tried to keep wasps away by spraying with a few drops of peppermint oil mixed with water. I put it in a spray bottle and use it around door frames and other places I see them flying around. Might be worth a try to keep them from building the nests. Obviously, it needs to be sprayed again every so often.

    Reply
  4. Sandra Moore

    I don’t know about wasps, but mosquitoes I despise. I found a trick that will help rid your yard of them. You need a few containers that will hold water – a cow trough, a small barrel, a ceramic planter. Go to the plant store, or a lake and get a couple small water plants that don’t need soil. Place them in the planters. while you’re out and about, get one or two goldfish for each container. The mosquitoes are attracted to the water and lay their larvae, the goldfish eat the larvae – mosquitoes disappear. If you’re in a northern climate, you need to take your fish inside when it ices over. Just remember that a goldfish will get larger, the bigger the container. (I think we refer to very large ones as coi.)

    Reply
  5. Susan

    I have strawberry ‘find’ too. I saw online that you can put strawberries in a glass jar and they lasted 3 weeks. Well, I put strawberries in quart mason jars and one of them is about a week – 10 days and the berries are perfect. I ate the ones in the other jar. I wouldn’t put them in wet, mine were dry.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Clark

      This is the BEST way! I do it every time!
      Instructions:

      1. Gently place your unwashed strawberries in a clean, airtight jar.
      2. After securing the lid, place the jar in the fridge.
      3. When you want some strawberries, take out your desired amount and wash them before eating.
      4. Enjoy fresh strawberries for up to three weeks!

      WASP SPRAY is also great to deter a snake should you come across one. And you don’t have to get close. I’ve even heard keep on your nightstand or in the house and spray in face of an intruder. I love the stuff!

      Love your blogs!

      Reply
  6. Susan

    I hope this is nota duplicate as my post just disappeared? My ‘find’ is about keeping strawberries too. put your strawberries in a glass mason jar in the fridge. The person who posted this said that hers were 3 weeks old.I put 2 jars in my fridge and one jar is a week- 10 days old and looks perfect. I ate the other jar……

    Reply
    1. RuthW in MD

      I tried this too! It works! I rinsed off the berries, set aside the softy ones to eat immediately, cut off the green tops, dried the berries, put them in a glass jar with a dated label on it. No sugar added to the jar. Today is August 23, and the jar labeled August 12 looks great still! That’s 12 days tomorrow. My husband loves the strawberries on his cereal in the morning. If you see moisture in the bottom of the jar, pour them out and check them for softness, there’s probably one or two that are going bad. But so many of the strawberries stay nice and fresh, it’s worth it!
      I also love the HotShot Wasp Killer! This year I’ve killed 17 black widow spiders, no HotShot for them when they live under bricks.

      Reply
      1. CHARLOTTE

        Did you kill the BW spiders with the Hot Shot? I’m asking because we have a bad, bad problem with spiders this year, probably because of the drought. Primarily 3 kinds and 1 is widows. If they leave us alone we leave them alone but they are getting close to the house and also in the junk in the garage. I’d lik to spray a parameter around th hous just to keep them away. We even have to wear work gloves when taking out the garbage cans…they hide under the lips of the lids!

        Reply
  7. Hedy

    These various sprays work great. We had hornets by our front door once and they were swarming. We bought the hornet spray and the instructions were to cover your flashlight with red whatever and the hornets wouldn’t see it. So we went out in the dark and since hornets make nests in the ground, we emptied the entire can in their nest. It worked. We have that wasp nest spray too and it’s fantastic. I always cut up all fruit the day I get it, except peaches. They need to sit in a brown paper bag to ripen. Tonight’s dessert is peaches over vanilla ice cream, yummy.

    Reply
  8. Jo

    Washing any type of berry in a 1to 5 vinegar/water solutions will keep the berries fresher longer.
    You should spray the nest in the late evening, more likely to catch all of the wasps at home.

    Reply
    1. Sherry Whalen

      This is how I keep strawberries fresh too. When I bring them home I drop them into the water/vinegar solution for a short time, quick rinse them and let them air dry for a half hour, rinse and dry the container they come in and put a paper towel in the bottom of the container, a layer of strawberries, another sheet of paper towel and a layer of strawberries. I check the berries while repacking and take out any that I think wouldn’t keep – like a bruise or cut and eat them first. I am able to keep them for at least 8-10 days – if we don’t eat them first!

      Reply
    2. Teresa from Port Coquitlam

      I do the same only I was told one part vinegar to 10 parts water. It works for strawberries and raspberries

      Reply
  9. Tina

    Jo, I have found a perfect way to save the strawberries. When you get them transfer them to a large canning jar. Screw on the lid tight. Put them i immediately n the frig. They can last up to 2 weeks. This solved that problem for me. Hope it works for you. Let me know!

    Reply
  10. Dianne winter

    Cook up some pancakes and pour tge strawberries over them and add whip ream. The best strawberry shortcake. I only use pancakes fir strawberry shortcake. Your grandkids will love them.

    Reply
  11. RuthW in MD

    I tried this too! It works! I rinsed off the berries, set aside the softy ones to eat immediately, cut off the green tops, dried the berries, put them in a glass jar with a dated label on it. No sugar added to the jar. Today is August 23, and the jar labeled August 12 looks great still! That’s 12 days tomorrow. My husband loves the strawberries on his cereal in the morning. If you see moisture in the bottom of the jar, pour them out and check them for softness, there’s probably one or two that are going bad. But so many of the strawberries stay nice and fresh, it’s worth it!
    I also love the HotShot Wasp Killer! This year I’ve killed 17 black widow spiders, no HotShot for them when they live under bricks.

    Reply
  12. NJ

    My friend lives alone in the country and walks from her unattached garage to the house. She picks up a can of wasp spray and carries it from garage to the house for protection.

    Reply
    1. Clare

      I did the same at my office when I was alone, kept a can of wasp spray near my desk. Fortunately never had to use it.

      Reply
  13. Becky

    You can get make it or buy on Amazon, use paper bags stuffed with plastic bags, tie top with a bread thingy,( can’t remember the name of it, lol, closes the bag) and hang it around under roof and bees won’t build their nests, they think it is a hornets nest and they don’t like them! Been using them for years and it’s great!

    Reply
    1. annie

      Works beautifully for us too. Just ordinary brown lunch bags which we blow into like a balloon. Tie with string and use the same string to hang them up. But what a great way to used leftover grocery bags!

      Reply
  14. Edith

    It’s good to spray the wasp nest at night when they are sleeping. They are all in the nest and die before they can get you. They used to get in our bird feeders sometimes so no spray there but sometimes we hosed them out at night and then sprayed the nest once it was out. Riskier but we usually found those when they were small. We also would mess with them in freezing weather in that situation. Knocked them out with a broomstick or something long. They were usually empty then.

    Reply
  15. June

    I use those “sonic” bug repellent electronic plug ins. The secret to them is to make sure they are not covered up by a piece of furniture. We had a wasp nest at the front door and a house full of them when we moved in June 30th. The wasp flew in and after a few minutes get almost paralyzed. I hate killing them bug I’m scared to death of them since I was a little girl. We used to bury our fish bones in the garden after cleaning to help fertilize the soil. I dug through a hornet nest and the rest is history. I like the Bell and Howell the best. It won’t hurt your dog or cat but if you have a hamster – it might not be a good idea. You can get it thru Amazon. It also works on spiders and other bugs. My son was very highly allergic to sprays as he was born without antibodies. Wish these had been around then in 1980.

    Reply
  16. Dianne winter

    We have used tge wasp catchers. Bait it with a piece of lunch meat and those wasp go crazy to get in there and can’t get out. Worked for us. I think we got them at lowes

    Reply
  17. Ellen

    Wasps- according to my husband, it is best to wait until sundown to spray the nests. The wasps all come back to the nest and are not likely to be flying around and escape. He says they are sleeping, haha.
    Strawberries: We have several local strawberries farms and I buy them often. My method is to grab a large plastic container with a tight lid. Take the strawberries, do not wash at this time, layer them in the plastic container between paper towels and try not to let them touch. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least 10 days. Wash them as you use them up. It works every time.

    Reply
  18. Sherry Bobak

    I don’t buy strawberries anymore. Every time I think about getting some they look terrible in the store. Either not ripe enough or too ripe. Sometimes I even find mold in the packages. The last couple of times that I bought some I had to throw them away. Usually they don’t even taste sweet anymore. I won’t pay $4.99 for a package of berries to throw away.

    Reply
  19. Christina

    Hi Jo, Have the battery tester, it came in a zipped top case for keeping all sizes of batteries, so they are not touching each other surrounded by foam . Its brilliant, now I have all batteries out of various drawers from all over the house, in one container safely stored and its easy to see what you need to stock up on. I got this from QVC and even my husband says it’s great knowing where to find a battery at any given time. I bought one zipped case for a friend and she said it was fantastic, it kept her husband quiet for a whole afternoon, finding batteries and testing them all!

    Reply
  20. Christine Burch

    Haha! I have that same battery tester and with three kids in the house that little device has saved me a fortune in batteries. My kids think new batteries solve everything and I can’t begin to tell you how many batteries they thought were bad were actually fine.

    Super big thanks on the wasp recommendation. We have horrible wasp problems but haven’t been able to scrape up the funds to call an exterminator. I will have to see if hubby wants to try this. He is a little hesitant to deal with it himself. He got stung by one right under the eye two years ago and his face blew up a balloon. Suffice it to say he gives them a wide berth these days.

    Reply
  21. Joy

    Jo, you may want to try a few everbearing strawberry plants. My daughter received a plant from school in 2020 and it has expanded into about 100 now. I can generally grab a handful of strawberries about every day. They grow well in containers too if given good soil and watered well. As for storage, I rinse them and place a half sheet of paper towel in the container. That seems to help them stay good a bit longer. I prefer my strawberries without sweetener.

    Reply
  22. Cindy in NC

    Thanks for the great suggestions, Jo. Have you tried Rubbermaid Fresh Works Produce Savers? I’ve had mine for years and they work great. Unwashed strawberries keep for five days or more. I use the bigger ones to keep bagged salad fresh. You can find them in various sizes on Amazon. They’ve gotten much more expensive than they used to be (what hasn’t?) but still worth the investment.

    Reply
  23. annie

    So we deal with paper nest wasps so this tip may not help. We take those brown lunch bags that you and I used to carry our school lunches in. Blow some air into them, crunch the tops closed, tie some string around them and hang them where the wasps would usually next. Apparently the bag makes the wasps think that a colony has already taken up residence and they go elsewhere. A cheap and easy solution and it has absolutely worked for me.

    Reply
  24. Carolyn in Illinois

    I need to try the Mason jar method for storing strawberries! I like sugar on mine too. I’ve also found organic strawberries are usually sweeter and last longer. Unfortunately, they are a little more expensive.

    Reply
  25. Suzanne Yerks

    My daughter told me to rinse strawberries then put them in a bowl with vinegar, take out and store in the fridge. They do last longer and I just rinse and use. I had them for over a week!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.