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penny-wise and pound-foolish

Prov. thrifty with small sums and foolish with large sums. (Describes someone who will go to a lot of trouble to save a little money, but overlooks large expenses to save a little money. Even in the United States, the reference is to British pounds sterling.) Sam: If we drive to six different grocery stores, we'll get the best bargains on everything we buy. Alan: But with gasoline so expensive, that's penny-wise and pound-foolish.
See also: and

penny wise and pound foolish

unwise because doing something small now would prevent much more trouble later Education budget cuts are penny wise and pound foolish – public education is an investment in our future.
See also: and, foolish, penny, pound, wise

be penny-wise and pound-foolish

to be extremely careful about small amounts of money and not careful enough about larger amounts of money Saving a little bit of money on repairs can lead to long-term damage. You don't want to be penny-wise and pound-foolish, now do you?
See also: and

penny wise and pound foolish

Stingy about small expenditures and extravagant with large ones, as in Dean clips all the coupons for supermarket bargains but insists on going to the best restaurants-penny wise and pound foolish . This phrase alludes to British currency, in which a pound was once worth 240 pennies, or pence, and is now worth 100 pence. The phrase is also occasionally used for being very careful about unimportant matters and careless about important ones. It was used in this way by Joseph Addison in The Spectator (1712): "A woman who will give up herself to a man in marriage where there is the least Room for such an apprehension ... may very properly be accused ... of being penny wise and pound foolish." [c. 1600]
See also: and, foolish, penny, pound, wise
References in periodicals archive ?
When she called him and asked him to pick her up immediately, he felt all right and rather foolishly drove without thinking of the consequences.
When historians of the future have access to all the military secrets of that period, I believe they will conclude that the world came close then on a handful of occasions to the armageddon Mr Davies foolishly mentions in the context of North Korea.
NCE again, a public Ofigure has been brought to ruin by a lie most foolishly told.
The worst bit was when he rather foolishly asked his cell-mate: "Does my bum look big in this?
We foolishly thought that with the so-called upgrading of this area that the housing department might have seen the point of clearing their rubbish.
There's a combat we can't deny, even if we foolishly remove every military reference in every hymnal in the interests of political correctness.
And he foolishly agreed to pose in their colours for the comedy show Striscia La Notizia.
MY WEEK Punting high I was happy to see Paul Casey beat Camillo Villegas in the World Matchplay, and it got even better when Ian Poulter saw off an out-of-sorts Casey in the final Punting lows Been waiting to back Souffleur over 2m4f and foolishly had him down as a non-stayer over 3m1f at Haydock Cheltenham previews I am attending two this year, including a 7.
The nub of the plot can be simply summarised: a woman foolishly fails to outgrow her childhood infatuation with a priest who foolishly fails to leave the priesthood to marry her.
I and some other gullible Coventry City supporters also foolishly had a dream some weeks ago.
The victim is Amanda, who drowns her sorrows with Kelli then foolishly gets behind the wheel of a car.
A "Marshall Plan" would foolishly spend millions of dollars "creating more jobs" for gang members who are too unmotivated, too immature and lazy, and too drug-saturated to take the countless entry-level jobs that are already available.
She offers him a job as her new buffer, a job offer Hayate foolishly accepts.
Bill Gertz has long been a foreign affairs Cassandra, issuing warnings that the world foolishly ignored.
Traditional moral philosophers foolishly pursued that which does not exist, absolute truth, and they foolishly insisted on the myth that absolute altruism, totally ignoring our own needs, is a good idea.