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The web is a great place to find bargains, but these days there just seems to be so many of them. While you’re browsing Amazon for the latest eBooks that have been marked as free, some great music might be available on iTunes to download for a similar price. You might just miss out if you’re not fast.
Email alerts can help, but if you don’t have your email client open or your phone switched on or networked, you could end up very disappointed. As such, a different solution is required.
Perhaps the best way to stay informed of special offers online is to embrace IFTTT, the popular data combination service that allows you to process data from websites and RSS feeds into something useful for you.
Commonly used as a means of automatically sending tweets, did you know that IFTTT can also help you to save money, and even make some extra cash?
If you’re new to IFTTT, you’ll probably be unfamiliar with the tool. It is designed to mashup different online services – for instance sending the contents of an RSS feed to Twitter – and is in some ways the ultimate automation tool, enabling you to cut down the amount of time you spend searching and browsing, forcing the information that you are looking for to come to you rather than the other way around.
The process is simple. Using a trigger (If This), you can then specify an action (Then That) which will be saved as a “recipe” and used by you and shared with other IFTTT users.
When it comes to using recipes that are already setup by other users, all you need to do is view the recipe’s description page, check it does what you want it to do, and click Use Recipe – IFTTT will do the rest!
More information about using IFTTT can be found in How To Create Your Own IFTTT Recipes For Automating Your Favorite Sites & Feeds.
Catch Those Free Books!
A fan of reading?
If you have a Kindle, Nook or corresponding tablet/smartphone apps, the following recipes might prove extremely valuable to you.
First of all, if you use Kindle and want to bump up your library, this recipe sends an email when a free title is added to the Kindle Top 100 Free eBooks list. Similar recipes can be found for books in particular genres such as sci-fi or romance.
Barnes and Noble releases free eBooks most Fridays, and this recipe sends an email when the Nook blog is updated with a list of free titles. Another great way to increase your library!
If you’re less of a reader and more of a listener, meanwhile, this recipe will alert you to free audiobooks when they are released on iTunes.
Save Money on Android and iPad Apps
App crazy smartphone and tablet users who want to save coin after some particularly heady spending sprees might like to ease off with one of these recipes for iPad and Android.
Android users can take advantage of the Amazon App Store in the absence of any Google Play-related IFTTT action, and this recipe sends.
For iPad users looking for a bargain – namely premium apps reduced to free – you could use this very useful recipe that informs you when AppShopper.com links to apps that have been discounted to $0.
The AppShopper recipe is no good for finding brand new, free apps however. For this task, you will need to employ a different recipe, one that uses Apple’s RSS feed to report new free apps to you by email.
Similarly, another recipe will send details of the iOS Free App of the Week directly to your email inbox.
Of course there is a downside to these recipes – you might discover an app you’ve already paid top dollar for is available for free…
Setup Free MP3 Alerts
Here’s a great selection of IFTTT recipes that alert you when free music is available:
- Free iTunes Downloads alerts by email.
- New items on Amazon’s Top Free MP3 Albums list.
- Free Music from Amazon.
Finally, if you use Dropbox and Last.fm, this recipe will save free music to Dropbox based on the your Last.fm recommendations. Make sure you have plenty of free space in your cloud storage though!
Bonus Tip for eBay Partners
Saving money is good – but what about making it?
I’ve developed my ownthat generates around £30 a month, depending upon how well I promote the end product, a Twitter feed that highlights products listed in a particular niche over a predetermined minimum listing price.
This recipe requires that you have an eBay Partner account and a Twitter account. You will need to edit the RSS feed (which updates with the products when they are added) with one from your own eBay Partner dashboard, while the Twitter account you already have on file with IFTTT will be used.
The result is a tweet with link and image of the product. Anyone who clicks the link will be routed through your eBay Partner account, enabling you to benefit from their activity!
You can find the recipe here:
Conclusion: IFTTT Saves AND Makes Money!
With all of these excellent ways to grab freebies, save money and earn a bit of residual income with IFTTT, you have to wonder just how this service continues to run for free.
The way in which it connects various services is unparalleled, and given that the service is completely free to use at present (this may change, of course, although it seems more likely that the various mashups you can create will be incorporated into the services involved) you would be foolish to not take advantage of IFTTT while you can.
Image Credit: IFTTT Logo