earn its keep

earn its keep

To be so valuable as to be worth keeping. This device can be used in so many ways that it's really earned its keep in my kitchen.
See also: earn, keep

earn its keep

If something earns its keep, it is worth the amount of money that it costs or the space that it takes up. In Bob's garden everything must earn its keep, with fruits and vegetables given priority over flowers. If you're short of storage space in your kitchen, whatever appliances you do have really need to earn their keep.
See also: earn, keep
References in periodicals archive ?
Based on price per wear alone, this will earn its keep in your wardrobe.
8 -- Air India, which flourished for years as a patronage machine for a bloated workforce, assorted bureaucrats and sundry politicians, may soon be in a position to earn its keep and stop being a drain on taxpayers.
Bottom line: An excellent addition to the multicultural shelves that will easily earn its keep.
Let's face it, limited space in your chilled cabinet means every centimetre has to earn its keep.
The imminent adoption of the new Single Farm Payment means every beef animal will have to earn its keep instead of being a head in the coupled subsidy count," explained NBA chief executive, Robert Forster.
In these tough times for the rural economy every acre has to work harder to earn its keep.
To an African, an elephant that does not earn its keep is a menace to crops and a threat to human safety.
Last night Hermione, who has several homes, said: "A house of this size has crippling overheads and it needs to earn its keep.
If they can do that in a hot area like biotech where talent is still scarce, it should give BioJobNet sufficient critical mass to earn its keep relatively quickly," Gutmacher added.
The spire-like Pyrus Beech Hill (bottom right) is a good example and will really earn its keep with its showy display of white flowers in spring followed by red berries.