This is mini- osechi that I bought at super market near my place. This doesn't have the whole thing,but I cannot finish it all by myself, so this is enough. About 2,000 yen, equivalent to 17 US dollars.
Each food has the meaning of good luck. For instance, the far left is black beans and it tastes sweet. Mame ( beans ) also means diligence. So, it means " work diligently and make money.( My friend made some comments after reading this. Yes, mame also means live healthy in this feast. I would say the translation is --- Work diligently and stay healthy. ) " The shrimp indicates longevity since the shape is like old man whose back is bent.
30 to 40 years ago, mothers, grand mothers used to cook each food. I remember when I was small, January 2 was the day for big gathering of the family members. I have like 14 cousins or more ??? and aunts and uncles, grand mother, grand father grand mother's sister etc...... Women were in the kitchen cooking food. However, it is lots of work. Nowadays, people in the city don't cook everything. Just a part of it or buy the whole set from department stores or well-known restaurants. The origin of Osechi is said that " you are supposed to be quiet in new year's kitchen since the god is coming." Also, the shops used to be closed for 5 days or more. So, this food was sort of preservative food during new year holidays. Then, it also made women rest and relieve them from cooking during new year.
Otoso is sort of new year sake cocktail. There is a pack of herb you can find in the shop and soak it into Mirin & Sake. This is supposed to avoid evil spirit.