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Increase Productivity and Wealthy with IFTTT


Lack of follow through halts the greatest of plans. Thankfully, technology has consistently provided a buffer for less than stellar human performance. The IFTTT app is a great way to automate daily tasks, streamline productivity, and save time and money.

Take for example, our Honeywell wifi thermostat. Checking and changing the temperature level from our cell phones or lap top was a nifty feature. We hoped to save money by turning it down when away. But, remembering to turn the thermostat down was an elusive goal. I needed automated technology to maximize results.

Automation is where IFTTT excels. I created what the app calls a “recipe,” and IFTTT drops the thermostat to 65° when my cell phone disconnects from our wifi network and resumes normal schedule when reconnected: execution, efficiency, and savings on autopilot.

Their are hundreds of IFTTT recipe possibilities. Here are some more recipe examples:

– Upload photos to cloud storage.

– Log calls, texts, completed tasks, etc. on Google Calendar.

– Text contact an “I’m busy” message after missing a call.

– Turn lights on, start radio, open garage, etc. when arriving home.

– Time of day and location dictated volume settings.

– Notifications based on temperature, weather condition and uv parameters.

– Text contact before battery is drained.

And lots more!

You see, IFTTT can help us all by taking care of mundane details automatically; increasing efficiency, free time and money.

Hacking My Diet for Physical and Financial Health Part 3: Finances


I’m about 3 weeks into a whole food, plant based diet. Along with feeling better, I noticed a large savings on our grocery bill. Our average dairy, egg and meat cost, as a family, before I switched was quite large:

1 pint of yogurt a day at $8 a pint: $56

4 half gallons of milk and 1 half gallon half and half at$7: $35 a week

5 pack chicken drumsticks a night at $3: $21 a week.

3 tubs per week of cottage cheese at $6: $18 a week.

5 bags shredded cheese a week at $5: $25 a week.

12 eggs per week: $6.

Totaling $161 a week. Pretty crazy right? Adding in all the other extras brought our bill to around $180 a week.

That being said, everyone else in our family still eats meat and dairy. But, my choice to eat a plant based, whole food diet is saving us quite a bit on our grocery bill: $50 a week, $200 a month, which translates to roughly $2400 a year; a benefit my family and I can literally take to the bank!

Cut your Grocery Bill with these Simple Tricks

IMG_4626No one likes paying more for groceries than they have to. What if I told you there were ways to save money on your favorite foods? I’ve got a few tips that may just save you quite a bit of money on your grocery runs.


If you buy your meats from the butcher section, it makes sense to buy on sale. Unfortunately, most chain grocery stores do not advertise anything other than chain mandated specials. So how do you know when your favorite chicken drumsticks or packs of ground beef are going to be marked down? Ask the butcher. In my experience, the butcher would rather sell reduced meats than take a loss. They will gladly tell you when your favorite items will be marked down to secure a sale. And, from time to time, I have had butchers mark my favorites down ahead of time while I was willing to buy a large amount. I often get 12-15 packs of drumsticks at a time and freeze them for Crockpot meals this way. The savings is 40% or more off regular price per pound.


Bulk suppliers are the best way to get lower priced grains. Amish stores and farmers markets are good places to buy bulk grains. They can sell cheaper due to minimal packaging, less processing and lack of overhead. There are also numerous online bulk grain distributors that send out their grains in clear plastic bags. Prices are typically based on weight and the savings can be huge if buying in bulk.


Have you ever needed a couple bananas for a recipe but the only bunches left were prepackaged and so ripe the rest will go bad in the next couple days? Pick up your over ripe bunch of bananas and ask the produce manager to mark them down. I have used this trick to get bananas at 1/3 the price for banana bread. This works for any produce that looks less than perfect or is slightly past it’s peak.

New Products

If you want to try a new product without paying full price, email the company for a coupon. I have never been denied a coupon to try a new product. I have been able to try products such as salad, half and half, and eggs either free or very close to free.

Let the Company Know What You Think

I once bought a salad dressing and the consistency was horribly chunky and it tasted too sweet. My feedback got me a coupon for a free replacement bottle of my choice. Companies pay thousands of dollars a year for consumer testing, focus groups and opinion polls. Taking the time to send your feedback means they get feedback for free. In exchange for my feedback, I have received either a replacement coupon or a book of coupons for all of the company’s related products. The same goes for positive feedback. Companies thrive on customer opinion and will gladly reward you for your time!

Have another tip or trick to save money on groceries? Please share!

Frugal Fitness Finds

During my University days, I was in shock at the semester’s end when all types of furniture: desks, tables, chairs, dressers were thrown curbside like trash. I was really inspired by just how nice used items were (and often for free).

I applied the same resourceful attitude when I became interested in health and fitness. I took the same approach and started looking for ways to save a few bucks (or get items free). Here are some tips I want to share:

Online buying:
eBay has always been my go to when searching for new and used fitness apparel and books. I found an article a year ago explaining the best days for selling items on Ebay. This really stuck with me and I try to bid when the item is statistically proven to sell for less. I have had the best savings on fitness items by picking midday Monday and Tuesday ending auctions and bidding right before the auction ends.

Thrift shops:
One advantage to thrift shopping is previewing the item before buying. I have great success shopping midday the first open day of the week. Also, do some research about how the company is structured. Our Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store is 100% volunteer run so the prices are lowest.

Custom fitness equipment suppliers, fitness repair and maintenance companies:
This is a resource I became aware of this month. They typically take away old equipment when installing a new item, then sell the old equipment for cheap. I have seen anything from power racks to 5lb dumbbells at these places. Unfortunately, most are pick up only, but provide great savings nonetheless.

Digital and newspaper ads:
One of my favorite places to search is Craigslist. Often heavier fitness items will be listed free for pick up in cooler seasons. Can’t find an item in your area? You can always ask about shipping with PayPal payment. To find out of state deals, simply perform a web search for the item description + the word “craigslist.”

Garage, Community and estate sales:
I have the best luck at larger events vs. individual sales. One tactic I have found that works well is combined pricing. Requesting larger items be held so I can continue looking establishes a commitment to buy. Once I have all my items, I ask for a group price. The worst case scenario: they decline and I pay full price.

Have a tip that is not listed here? Please share!

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