count the pennies

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Related to count the pennies: count your pennies

count (one's)/the pennies

To be careful with one's money; to adhere to a strict budget. Can we go out to dinner next week instead? I'm just counting my pennies right now.
See also: count, penny

count the (or your) pennies

be careful about how much you spend.
Variants of this expression are watch the pennies and, in the USA, pinch the pennies .
See also: count, penny
References in periodicals archive ?
BRITONS are so keen to count the pennies that a quarter know their bank balance - to the exact amount.
But if there is a backlash and a walk-out at the end of the campaign then those who count the pennies at Goodison Park will have much to answer for.
The priority is to count the pennies rather than look after patients.
Barclaycard's Ian Barber said last night: "It's great to see when it comes to friends and family we don't feel the need to count the pennies.