Use this expression when someone has spent a lot of time doing something, but hasn't gotten much benefit from it. In the example above, the speaker has tried to sell her house for a year, but she hasn't sold it or gotten any closer to selling it.
We've invested over two years and $2.5 million in developing a new application, but we still have nothing to show for it.
Sure, you got good grades in school and all. But now what do you have to show for it? A boring job that doesn't even pay that well.