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scrimp and save
To spend as little money as possible; to be especially frugal, especially with the aim of saving up for something bigger. Ever since we had our second child, we've had to scrimp and save to make sure they both get what they want for Christmas.
scrimp on (something)
To choose to consume or spend on something very sparingly or frugally as a way of conserving one's money or resources. I got so used to scrimping on food when I was broke so that I could afford my rent. Now that I have a decent salary, it's hard not to have the same mentality. We cut corners where we had to so that we could afford the wedding we wanted, but we made sure not to scrimp on a good photographer!
scrimp and saveand pinch and scrape
to be very thrifty; to live on very little money, often in order to save up for something. We had to scrimp and save in order to send the children to college. The Smiths pinched and scraped all year in order to go on a Caribbean cruise.
scrimp on something
to try to economize on the use of something; to fail to use enough of something. Please don't scrimp on the quality of the food. There is enough money. You don't have to scrimp on anything.
scrimp and save
Economize severely, spend as little as possible, as in For years we had to scrimp and save, but now we can enjoy life more. [Mid-1800s]
To consume something sparingly in order to conserve it, or be frugal when buying something in order to save money: When my salary was cut, I had to scrimp on food in order to pay my rent.