Why do people say "I earn my bread and butter"?

i wonder why people always say " I work here or do this job to earn my BREAD AND BUTTER"?

why only bread and butter? why not any other dish? like i earn my PASTA AND COKE from this job. why is it bread and butter? from where this came up or how it started please help me undertand

Best Answer:

Ruth: I think that metaphor has been around for a long time, especially during the depression where bread and butter was such a huge part of a family's diet; some people could only afford bread many days. Also, if someone said that to me, I would assume that they are suggesting the job doesn't pay that well – that it only provides the essentials.

Other answer:

Bread is called the staff of life. Almost every culture eats a wheat, corn, or rice product in one form or another. {Tacos, tortillas, flat bread, PASTA, etc.} And butter represents the good in life. Butter is made from the cream that is in milk … so someone has access to a cow (even if via the grocery store in this day and age), and cattle can be butchered for meat, so bread and butter represents the staples (foundation) of life.
It's just an old saying.
Moon Man:

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