get (some kind of) mileage out of (something)(redirected from get much a little mileage out of something)
get (some kind of) mileage out of (something)
To use something to a certain degree or extent. The phrase, which is used with variable intensifiers (a lot of, much, more, a little, etc.) to denote how much, is an allusion to the mileage of an automobile as an indicator of the longevity of its usefulness. The president has gotten a lot of mileage out of his tax cuts as a platform for his re-election campaign. One way to cut down on spending is to buy clothes you're sure you'll get mileage out of. I'm afraid you won't get much mileage out of this old computer anymore.
get a lot of mileage out of something
Fig. to get a lot of use from something, as if it were a car. Bob always got a lot of mileage out of one joke. I got a lot of mileage out of my TV before it broke down.
get mileage out of
Make use of, obtain service from, as in The chorus got a lot of mileage out of that publicity, or You won't get much mileage out of that old TV set. This expression alludes to the number of miles of travel yielded by a given amount of fuel, a tire, or other auto equipment. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]