5 More Ways to Use IFTTT to Save Money (and Time) at Home

Joel Lee 04-11-2015

For those who don’t know, there’s an awesome web tool called IFTTT The Ultimate IFTTT Guide: Use the Web's Most Powerful Tool Like a Pro If This Then That, also known as IFTTT is a free web-based service to get your apps and devices working together. Not sure how to build your applet? Follow along with this guide. Read More that let’s you automate nearly every aspect of your life — and the best part is that IFTTT is easy. Seriously. Even if you have no technical literacy, you’ll pick it up in less than five minutes.


The concept is simple: IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. It provides hundreds of different triggers and actions that you can combine to create automated events. For example, “If my mom emails me, then forward it to me as an SMS message” or “If today is the first of the month, then back up my contacts list”.

These trigger-action pairings are called recipes and the possibilities are endless. In fact, anyone can create their own IFTTT recipes How To Create Your Own IFTTT Recipes For Automating Your Favorite Sites & Feeds There are a few web services that can be considered "priceless" and IFTTT is one of them. The service, which stands for "if this then that" has the power to automate common tasks and help... Read More , but you can also browse public IFTTT recipes if you like — and many of them can be used to put extra money in your pocket.

We’ve taught you how to use IFTTT to save money IFTTT Recipes That Help You Save Money IFTTT can be used to do nearly anything, and saving money is no exception. Here are some of the best recipes to help you live more frugally. Read More before.

So here are 5 more great IFTTT recipes for saving time and money at home.

Turn Off Lights When You Leave Home



Unless you’re compulsive or highly disciplined, you probably struggle to switch off your house lights when they’re not in use — but it’s even worse when you leave for work in the morning and come home to find that your lights have been on for over eight hours. Talk about a waste of money and electricity.

This IFTTT recipe solves that issue once and for all. Using the GPS in your smartphone as a trigger, it’ll detect when you’ve left your house and shut off the lights accordingly. Here’s the iOS version and here’s the Android version.

Philips 426353 Hue White and Color Personal Wireless Lighting, Starter Pack, Retail Packing, 1st Gen Philips 426353 Hue White and Color Personal Wireless Lighting, Starter Pack, Retail Packing, 1st Gen Buy Now On Amazon

Note: This recipe requires Philips Hue Bulbs. For more info, check out our overview of affordable home automation solutions 6 Types of Home Automation You Can Actually Afford Are you ready to join the smart home revolution but worried that it's beyond your budget? Smart homes aren't that expensive, and there are plenty of components that the average homeowner can afford. Read More .


Stop Wasteful Heating and Cooling


As with lighting, it’s just as devastating — or perhaps even worse — to walk out the door in the morning and come back later to find that your heater or air conditioner has been running all day long.

Fortunately, there’s an IFTTT recipe that uses the location service on your smartphone to determine whether or not you’ve left the house — and if you have, it’ll set your home thermostat to a specified temperature. Here’s the iOS version and here’s the Android version.

There’s another IFTTT recipe that can change your thermostat’s target temperature based on the weather outside. After all, if it’s cooler outside than inside, there’s no need to waste energy trying to cool your house.


Google, T3007ES, Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Gen, Smart Thermostat, Stainless Steel, Works With Alexa Google, T3007ES, Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Gen, Smart Thermostat, Stainless Steel, Works With Alexa Buy Now On Amazon $138.12

Pro Tip: This recipe requires an installed Nest Thermostat. If you think the Nest Thermostat is just a gimmick or fad, then here are 13 things a Nest Thermostat can do 13 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With a Nest Thermostat You may be surprised just how many little tricks you can accomplish with your new Nest thermostat! Read More that you didn’t know it could do. For one, the Nest Thermostat can cut your heating bill in half 7 Nest Automation Tricks to Cut Your Heating Bill in Half If there were a Nest thermostat in every home, it would have the biggest single impact on energy consumption in history; and it could save you more money than you might imagine. Here's how. Read More .

Save Money With the Press of a Button


If you’re struggling with self-discipline and/or motivation, then IFTTT can help. There’s a rewards incentive recipe that works like this: every time you tap the provided button, it moves some of your cash into a savings account.


So the next time you finish a chore, complete a task, or resist the impulse to buy something, you can tap the button and feel good that you’re saving money. This money can be used however you want — maybe to save up for a summer vacation How to Save Money on Your Next Vacation Package We all need a proper vacation now and then. If a holiday is on your horizon, you consider booking a vacation package. Here are some options. Read More . The recipe let’s you decide how much money each tap sets aside.

It’s basically a quick way to motivate yourself with gamification Points For Everything: How I Tried to Win At Life With Gamification My brain is stupid. It thinks I can get done tomorrow what I need to do today, and that I can do this afternoon what I need to do this morning. It puts everything off.... Read More that works in conjunction with Qapital, an app-based FDIC-insured online savings account. You’ll also need the DO Button app (iOS, Android) for this recipe to work.

Track Cash Spending Habits


One of the core principles of personal finance Simply Frugal: How To Learn Personal Finance The Easy Way Do you fret over bills and debt on a regular basis? Do you feel lost when others speak using financial lingo? Here's the good news: it's never too late to learn about money. Read More is tracking where you spend all of your money. In fact, reckless spending is one of the bigger reasons why so many people are drowning in consumer debt How to Get Rich: The Fastest Way to Get Out of Debt Imagine being debt free. No overdrawn balances or unpaid bills. There is a foolproof way of getting yourself out of debt. It starts with a plan and some discipline. Let's visit the other ingredients. Read More . Tracking your finances is the first step towards controlling your finances.

Thankfully, IFTTT makes it easy to do this. You’ll need to install the DO Note app (iOS, Android) that IFTTT provides. Combined with this recipe, you can jot down when you spent money and what you spent it on, and you’ll receive weekly reports of all expenses.

Pro Tip: When you start getting more serious with your finances, we highly recommend using You Need A Budget (our review of it YNAB Makes It Easy to Make a Budget and Stick to It Does your checking account remind you of a debt-burdened Southern European nation? You Need A Budget. We know it's tough to keep track of spendings. YNAB can help. Read More ). It’s the best budgeting software available, and students can get it for free This $60 Budget App Is FREE For Students! The popular budgeting software is the best of the best on the market today, and it's available for FREE to college students! Read More .

Track Who Owes You Money


If you’re the kind of person who lends money to people like it’s candy, then you better have a good system in place to help you remember who owes you how much. It might seem tacky to track personal favors like that, but $10 here and $20 there can add up fast.

With this IFTTT recipe, you can just send a text to IFTTT with the person’s name, how much they owe you, and tag it with #cash. That information gets stored in a file on Dropbox — which means that, yes, you’ll need a Dropbox account to use this recipe.

Pro Tip: IFTTT is great for its simplicity and recurring nature, but an online debt tracker like What Do I Owe You? Have a Hard Time Tracking Debts With Friends? Use What Do I Owe You Like most people, I enjoy going out to places with my friends. Restaurants, movies, overnight trips, amusement parks, paintballing - you name it and I’ll go. Going out as a group is great but sometimes... Read More or IOU Tool IOU Tool: Keep Track Of The Money Friends Owe You & The Money You Owe Friends Read More may prove more useful for one-time debts.

More Ways to Save With IFTTT

All of the above recipes are useful, but we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds — even thousands — of other recipes worth exploring. For example, there are IFTTT recipes that can help you snag products for free IFTTT Recipes That Help You Save Money IFTTT can be used to do nearly anything, and saving money is no exception. Here are some of the best recipes to help you live more frugally. Read More .

And if you really want to become an IFTTT pro, consider hooking it up with Tasker Tasker and IFTTT: The Perfect Automation Duo For Android Tasker automates anything you can think of on your Android device and IFTTT automates Web services. Used together, there's nothing you can't do. Read More for some truly advanced automation ideas.

Which IFTTT recipes do you use to save money? How useful has IFTTT been to you? Share about your experiences with us in the comments below!

Related topics: IFTTT, Nest, Philips Hue, Save Money.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Momo
    June 18, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Some people will never get it. You can do so much with IFTTT that does not require purchasing anything. If you don't have Nest (or any other cool Home Automation Devices!) then obviously that part does not apply to you. Tons of busy professionals use various productivity apps to be efficient. I don't have a need for boxing equipment but I'm not going to waste my time commenting my lack of need on boxing posts/articles. Get a life.

    Thanks for the article, really helpful since the IFTTT app itself doesn't explain much. I have an older paid version of YNAB, so I'm going to check out the new version now.

    • Joel Lee
      June 24, 2016 at 1:43 am

      Thanks Momo! I'm glad you liked the article. You're right, IFTTT does so much cool stuff and articles like these can be taken piecemeal. If something applies to you, great! If not, you can easily skip it. That's the beauty of IFTTT. You do what you want with it to fit your needs. :)

  2. Anonymous
    November 4, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    This does not compute.

    What you are basically telling us is that we have to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to buy all sorts of smart gadgets just so they can save us a few dollars by shutting off lights and "smartly" controlling heating/cooling. As Mr. Spock would say, "It is illogical"

    The one theme running through the examples you give is that people waste money because they have acquired bad habits. What they need is to modify their behavior, not rely on gadgets (IFTTT is a gadget). Behavior modification is long-lasting while gadgets, like an AbRoller, are used for a while than shoved out of sight, out of mind.

    Learn to shut off all electrical devices, not just the lights, when you are done using them.
    Do not try to maintain a shirtsleeve environment 24/7/365.
    People who have the discipline to record their every expenditure have the discipline not to over-spend.
    Neither a borrower, nor a lender be. Cuts down a lot on record keeping.

    • Jackson Chung
      December 8, 2015 at 1:46 am

      Well that's one way of looking at it. Generally, people forget - it's worse if you have young children. Upgrading certain components as a small investment is a sensible approach to making sure that things run optimally.

      Over the course of time, the upgrades will pay for themselves through the money saved.

      • Anonymous
        December 8, 2015 at 2:03 pm

        "Over the course of time, the upgrades will pay for themselves through the money saved."
        Maybe yes, maybe no. By the time one set of gizmos pays for itself, along comes another set of "must have", "money-saving", "golly-gee" gadgets and you start the payback cycle all over again.

        You make it sound like we are just a bunch of will-less bags of protoplasm that cannot get through the day without the tender, loving care of gizmos, gadgets and gewgaws. If you can train a dog to bring you your paper and slippers, you can train children to turn off electrical devices.

        • Jackson Chung
          December 9, 2015 at 3:31 am

          Well based on the suggestions in the article, it’s not an exorbitant amount of money. I’ve been using WeMo switches for years now without feeling the need to upgrade them. Over the course of time, I believe I’ve most certainly recovered the cost. But if you feel upgrading a standard thermostat is unnecessary, that’s your opinion and you’re certainly entitled to it. Just bear in mind that we’re human and we’re all different. Not everyone can be as disciplined as you, your children, and your dog.

          The article mostly focuses on how to use IFTTT to save time and money at home, but I see that you’re fixated on the product recommendations. Even if you were to overlook those suggestions, IFTTT will still work for you.

          No, we’re not a bunch of overly gadget-dependant people. We consume everything in moderation. Just because we believe that technology can help improve certain things in the household doesn’t mean we think it has to take over.