saving (prep., conj.)
"except for; but for; minus," also "with due respect or consideration for" (one's honor, etc.), late 14c.; see save (prep.).
early 14c., "salvation;" late 14c., "act of protecting (someone) from danger or death," verbal noun from save (v.).
By 1550s as "economy in expenditure or outlay; a reduction or lessening in expenditure." Savings "sums saved over time by the exercise of care and economy" is by 1727. Savings bank , for encouraging thrift "among people of slender means" [Century Dictionary] is by 1817; savings account is attested by 1882. S & L for savings and loan is attested from 1951.
c. 1300, "delivering from sin or death;" 1530s, "delivering or preserving from peril;" present-participle adjective from save (v.). The notion in saving grace is "spiritual gifts necessary to salvation;" the non-Christian sense (by 1903) is moral or mental, indicating something that redeems or exempts from censure.