In our series about German expressions, it’s time to learn the meaning of a new one: etwas für einen Apfel und ein Ei kaufen / etwas für ‘n Appel und ‘n Ei kaufen (to buy something for an apple and an egg).
This saying, once again, is colloquial German or popular speech which means that you won’t necessarily find it in German texts or literature, but it comes in handy when you want to speak and understand German like the Germans do.
When Germans say they bought something for an apple and an egg, they tell you that they got something for little money or that they made a bargain.
But why do we buy something for an apple and an egg, not a book or a chewing gum for instance? The answer is simple: both apples and egg were considered to be cheap produce.
Other ways to express the idea of buying something for a (very) good price are: etwas für wenig Geld kaufen, ein Schnäppchen machen, etwas spottbillig erwerben.
The expression also works in the opposite sense when you use the verb verkaufen = to sell.