Cost Cutting

Rob - author of the lesson plan   Rob | December 19, 2023
Business English
Money, Work, Entrepreneurship
B2 Upper-Intermediate, C1 Advanced
Mixed Grammar
Speaking, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
30 minutes
Business English lesson plan on cost-cutting strategies and budget limits.

Lesson Overview

It’s time to tighten our belts! In this lesson, students will discuss cutting costs in the workplace and discuss the reasons and consequences of introducing budgetary constraints. This lesson features a video that gives advice and guidelines on how to survive financial distress. Students will learn and practice vocabulary and idioms relating to the topic. The lesson includes plenty of engaging discussion activities and worksheets that have been developed for adult and teenage learners.

Lesson Objectives

  • Listening: Students will listen to strategies for reducing company expenses, gaining insights from real-world advice on managing financial challenges.

  • Speaking: They will participate in discussions about implementing cost-saving measures in the workplace, sharing ideas on how to balance budget cuts with maintaining morale.

  • Vocabulary: Students will learn terms and idioms related to budgeting and financial planning, enhancing their business English for discussing cost management.

  • Homework: Students will tackle exercises that include choosing the correct answers related to financial strategies, filling in blanks with given letters to complete terms on cost-cutting, and matching sentence halves to understand the application of budgetary tactics.


Have you experienced a personal financial crisis? Did you cut corners to get by? Watch this video to get advice on cost cutting and surviving a recession.

Video Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

tighten the belt [idiom]: to spend less money and manage without things because you have less money than you used to have
cost cutting [noun]: reduction in spending
constraint [noun]: limitation or restriction
distress [noun]: extreme anxiety, suffering, or pain
cut corners [idiom]: reduce costs by finding a cheaper or less effective way of doing something
downturn [noun]: a decline in economic, business, or other activity
measure [noun]: a plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular purpose
financial health [noun]: the state and stability of an individual's or a business’ finances
discretionary spending [noun]: cost that is not essential for the operation of a home or a business
expenditure [noun]: an amount of money spent
penny-pinching [idiom]: being excessively frugal or careful with spending money
cut back on something [phrasal verb]: to spend less, do less, or use less of something
curtail [verb]: reduce in extent or quantity; impose a restriction on
skimp on something [phrasal verb]: to not spend enough time or money on something, or not use enough of something
economize [verb]: spend less; reduce one's expenses
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