Penny wise and pound foolishThe words Penny and pound denote British currency units. One pound is worth 100 pence. This proverb denotes that some people are very careful in saving pence but loose in pounds. When a lady comes to the street for selling fruits we bargain with her and save a few pence. But when we go to a restaurant for eating out we spend more pounds there. When a beggar comes we hesitate to pay one rupee to him but we give Rs.10/- as tip to a security guard at a restaurant. who opens your car door. Is it not penny wise and pound foolish.
This proverb is used in other contexts also. If somebody is very careful about small issues but ignore important things, we can say he is penny wise pound foolish. In manufacturing organisation chances of wastage is more in manufacturing area. So if the organisation is not doing well, we have to concentrate on the operations and see where we are losing. Without worrying about that huge wastage there, if somebody thinks how many white papers are consumed in the office and try to control the use of white papers there will not be any use. This is known as penny wise and pound foolish.