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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]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.