burning money by the bale


Senior Member
Does below expression mean 'burning' a lot money ? Does by the bale has any idiomatic meaning ?
As 2013 gave way to 2014 –the year of the famed Polar Vortex, when furnaces all over the upper Midwest went into maximum overdrive, burning money by the bale –that story recurred to him often, and its resonance continued to deepen. And recur. Source: Finders Keepers by Stephen King

Is it a common expression ?

Thank you
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Of course no one was actually setting fire to money. The Polar Vortex was a weather phenomenon that caused unusually low temperatures, and people used a lot of fuel to keep their furnaces going and their homes heated. A great deal of extra money was spent on heating that winter.
    < Previous | Next >