The phrase ‘For Peanuts’ means to do something for very little or no pay.
Example of Use: “The students had very little money and were willing to work for peanuts.”
The origin of the idiom 'for peanuts' is credited to a Mr. Harry Mozley Stevens, who is often called the father of sports food service. An immigrant from England, Mr. Stevens began selling peanuts in 1895, when a peanut company called Cavanaros paid for advertising in the New York Giants game programs with peanuts, which Mr. Stevens would then sell to hungry fans. Mr. Stevens liked to jokingly state that he was “working for peanuts.”