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When the amount of money saved equals or exceeds the cost of an item or service, usually through an extended period of time.

This is very often used as a means of promoting a good or service, such as gutters, food processors, juicers etc. As in:

"Now with Debby Meyer's green bags, you never have to throw away your produce due to spoilage! Produce lasts up to 7 times longer, saving you money and time. This product nearly pays for itself!"
Because Jack bought a home coffee grinder, he can grind his own beans at home! He no longer has to buy more expensive pre-ground coffee, so in essence his new machine pay(s) for itself.
by johnny mc awesome August 19, 2009
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