Re: nickel and dimed it
In this case, I guess it means doing things involving small amounts of money.
The way I'm used to seeing it as a verb is something like "Don't nickel and dime me" or "I'm being nickeled and dimed to death" to mean that there are a ton of tiny little charges instead of one big charge. For example, you rent a room for a party, but then you get a charge for table cloths and a set up fee and another charge for having the wait staff work on a Sunday, etc.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.