No, I've been using the ph pen that I've recalibrated twice now... if the pen is innaccurate, the strips are innaccurate, and the rusty probe i tossed out was innaccurate, then what in the world can i do? I'm so broke, i cant afford to keep buying solution to recalibrate something that will need recalibrated again in a month.
Most bottled water states the ph on the side of the bottle, like evian and other brands, even the cheap ones here.
You can use this to give you an indication if you are reading accurately or not
To be honest the cheap ph pens rarely need recalibrating so it's odd if it's already out, even over a year my old one would only move by .1 or .2
Would you like me to send you my old ph meter? it's only a cheap one and I haven't used it for years but it works fine.
Good thought on the bottled water, that'll make calibrating alot easier Ive actually got the same one as Al, and its probably very similar to yours. The more I've been thinking the more im convinced it was the tea. It read at 6.2 when aerated... which I've heard will give you a false high reading when the water is full of oxygen. I'll get a bottled water before the plants get thirsty just in case though.