New Blues owner Carson Yeung has pledged to make up to £40million available to McLeish during the January transfer window - plus a similar amount next summer.
It is in stark contrast to the wheeling and dealing that McLeish had to undertake during the summer when offloading around a dozen players and bringing in a similar number at a cost of around £10million.
But he is aware of making sure the players already in his dressing room are not upset by the arrival of newcomers on salaries far in excess of what they are earning.
The former Scotland boss, whose side visit Arsenal on Saturday, said: "Listen, let's keep our feet on the ground here.
"I think you've got an issue right away with players that are currently at the club if you start spending this and that. with huge wages and huge transfer fees.
"You've still got to keep hold of the team spirit in the dressing room and it's about team building.
"We will still do things in a way that means we can go further but it doesn't have to be untold millions that I spend."
McLeish claims he could have kept City in the top flight two years ago had he been given money to spend during the 2008 transfer window.
He wanted to sign defender Gary Cahill from Aston Villa in a £5million deal but he decided at the 11th hour to make the move to Bolton.
McLeish said: "Either a midfielder or centre-back at that particular time would have sufficed.
"You were talking, maybe five or six million pounds for a player at that particular time, that I believe would have saved us at least another point that would have kept us in the league.
"I am talking about Gary Cahill, undoubtedly, when you see the form he has shown over the last couple of years."
City will face the Gunners for the first time since the horrific injury suffered by Eduardo following a tackle by Martin Taylor at St Andrew's 20 months ago.
Arsene Wenger claimed after the game that Taylor, himself currently sidelined with a long-term injury, should never play again.
Wenger later qualified those comments and McLeish is adamant there will be no carry over from that encounter when the sides meet at the Emirates Stadium.
He said: "I've seen Arsene many times since and it has not been mentioned. Life goes on. I don't think we want to go over the history of the Eduardo incident.
"There are many controversial things that have happened in football since and we move forward.
"Martin will not have a chance to shake hands with Eduardo because he is injured. He has suffered from a bad injury over the last 10-12 weeks and we won't see him for a while yet."
Birmingham striker Cameron Jerome is available after a two month absence and could be on the substitutes' bench.
The England Under-21 international suffered an ankle injury against Portsmouth at St Andrew's in the second match of the campaign.
Fellow forward Christian Benitez should also be available after missing the 2-1 defeat at Burnley as he was allowed to return to Ecuador after his father was involved in a car accident.
McLeish will assess his physical condition after a long haul flight back from Ecuador's World Cup qualifying double header.
McLeish has a series of injury worries and fitness doubts including Gregory Vignal, Franck Queudrue, David Murphy, Teemu Tainio, Giovanny Espinoza, Stuart Parnaby and Keith Fahey.