This is another way of saying that Actions speak louder than words. High-flown declarations and airy promises are useless substitutes for actions.
‘Darling,’ said Mr Frazer to his wife, ‘I think you’re a wonderful manager. You run the home beautifully and your cooking is marvelous. I tell all my friends that I have a perfect wife, economical and able to make do, and not half so extravagant as other wives.’
Mrs Frazer had heard all this before.
‘Fine words butter no parsnips,’ she said. ‘What about giving me the housekeeping money?’