shoestring

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live on a shoestring

To live within a very tight or limited financial budget. We were living on a shoestring for a while after our baby was born, but, luckily, I got a promotion, and our situation has improved a bit.
See also: live, on, shoestring

shoestring budget

A budget or allotment of resources that is very meager, sparse, or just enough to suit its purpose. Unfortunately, due to government cutbacks following the recession, our department has had to produce the same levels of work on a shoestring budget. I did all sorts of traveling with just a shoestring budget when I was in college. You learn very quickly how to make the most of what you have!
See also: budget, shoestring

on a shoestring

Fig. with a very small amount of money. We lived on a shoestring for years before I got a good-paying job. John traveled to Florida on a shoestring.
See also: on, shoestring

on a shoestring

by using very little money The theater company operates on a shoestring.
See also: on, shoestring

on a shoestring

  (informal)
if you do something on a shoestring, you do it using very little money The restaurant is run on a shoestring, so we can't afford to take on any more staff.
See also: on, shoestring

on a shoestring

With very limited financial means, as in The newlyweds were living on a shoestring. The precise allusion in this term is unclear. One fanciful theory is that debtors in British prisons would lower a shoe by its laces from a window so as to collect funds from visitors or passers-by. A more likely theory is that it alludes to the slender shape of a shoelace, likening it to slender resources. [Late 1800s]
See also: on, shoestring

on a shoestring

mod. on practically no money; on a very tight budget. (see also shoestring.) I run my business on a shoestring. I never know from day to day whether I will survive.
See also: on, shoestring

shoestring

mod. low-cost; cheap. (see also on a shoestring.) We have nothing but a shoestring budget this year.
References in periodicals archive ?
Shoestrings in Cottage Grove will offer shoes and collegiate apparel.
Hold the shoestring in a vertical position so that the weight hangs down and the string is at its greatest length.
Repeat steps 3 and 4, adding one more washer each cycle to the shoestring until you have 6, and record the number of swings (remember, a "complete" swing, the pendulum's period, is one cycle away from and back towards the release hand).
95) sauteed ``Moroccan-style'' in a citrus-cumin-thyme sauce with pepper, onions and cilantro, had plenty of flavor and was moist and gratifying (with shoestrings and veggies) on the initial visit.
When he was bending down (to field the ball), he caught his shoestrings and broke them,'' manager Darrin Garner said.
Recommended items: Iceberg wedge, chopped salad, baked scallops, bone-in Kansas City strip steak, veal porterhouse, rack of lamb, bone-in ahi tuna, wasabi mashed potatoes, crisp shoestring sweet potatoes, chocolate sin.