waste not, want not


Also found in: Acronyms.

waste not, want not

proverb If you use something wisely, sparingly, and completely, it will be less likely that you find yourself in need of anything. I plan our meals very carefully each week so that we use almost everything we get in the groceries. Waste not, want not. You may need to overhaul your production strategy if resources keep going to waste. Remember—waste not, want not!
See also: not, want, waste
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Waste not, want not.

Prov. Cliché If you do not waste anything, you will always have enough. Always save the fabric scraps left over from your sewing projects; you can use them to make something else. Waste not, want not. Sam never let his leftovers spoil in the refrigerator but made sure to eat them. "Waste not, want not," he said.
See also: not, want, waste
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

waste not, want not

Wise use of one's resources will keep one from poverty. For example, I just hate to throw out good food-waste not, want not. This proverbial saying was first recorded in 1772 but had an earlier, even more alliterative version, willful waste makes woeful want (1576).
See also: not, want, waste
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

waste not, want not

if you use a commodity or resource carefully and without extravagance you will never be in need. proverb
In this expression, want can be understood to mean either ‘lack’ or ‘desire’ according to the context.
See also: not, want, waste
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌwaste not, ˈwant not

(saying) if you never waste anything, for example food or money, you will have it when you need it: Come on, finish your food, children. Waste not, want not!
See also: not, want, waste
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

waste not, want not

Economical use of one’s resources pays off. This adage was quoted—and perhaps coined—by Maria Edgeworth (The Parent’s Assistant, 1800), who wrote that those very words “were written over the chimneypiece . . . in his uncle’s spacious kitchen.” It was widely repeated throughout the nineteenth century, but has been heard less in the current throwaway society.
See also: not, want, waste
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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