on a shoestring

(live / travel /etc) on a shoestring (budget) (using very little) — небогато, бедно; с небольшими средствами, со скудными средствами; не на широкую ногу; с минимальными затратами; ≅ едва сводя концы с концами; ≅ затянув пояс (потуже)

Example 1: She traveled around Europe on a shoestring (budget), staying in hostels and only eating one meal per day.

Example 2: My favorite movies are those that were made on a shoestring (also: on a shoestring budget). Movies made on a shoestring require a lot more creativity to make the movie good. (EB)

Example 3: Evelyn nodded, propelling herself off the bed. Enough of this pouting. She had work to do. She'd call Piper and have her stop over after work and take a look at the rooms. Piper was great at decorating on a shoestring, which was good, because that's all Evelyn had. (''Round the corner", 2008)

run up from a shoestring — разбогатеть, начав с малого

Related vocabulary:
[on the cheap]
[tighten one's belt]

[for a song]
[dirt cheap]