tighten one's belt

Idioms & Phrases

tighten one's belt

Spend less, be more frugal, as in Business has been bad, so we'll have to tighten our belts. This metaphoric term alludes to pulling in one's belt after losing weight from not having enough to eat. [First half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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