Struggling to make money!

IndiaHawker

Greenhorn
I'm still early game, day 23, so probably not meant to have much money I'm guessing! But feel confused about what I should and shouldn't sell and still don't have enough for the backpack upgrade, think I've got just over 1000 - I have spent a little bit here and there! But don't really have many crops and like I said unsure of what to sell or not! Would really appreciate some newb help haha, please and thanks!!
 

Salty1

Farmhand
That feels like a really long time to go without the first backpack upgrade! Unfortunately, I suspect that might be slowing you down more than anything else, so I'm going to bullet point some things:

- Fish, if you can manage it. If you run out of room too quickly, go to the ocean early and fish just outside of Willie's shop - you can go sell your fish directly to him and go back out and fish some more until he closes. Will save a lot of time relative to running back home to the shipping bin and back.

- Go ahead and sell clay. It has its uses, but isn't super helpful early game, and at 20g a piece you'll get more for it than selling off useful stone/coal/ores. If you want an early silo for animal feed, maybe keep just ten clay - but that's all you'll really need for a while.

- Go ahead and sell geodes. Omni-geodes sell for 0g so you can just hold them, but all other geodes yield a decent enough profit being sold without cracking them open at Clint's. It just helps you snowball faster to sell them early and not risk dice rolls.

- As you're still very new and probably not planning out a gifting schedule, bin foraged items as you find them too. It's easy to track what you need for the community centre with the forageables and they're something you can look for when you're otherwise low on energy at any other point in time. Keep in mind forageables reset on Sundays and can accumulate if left alone otherwise.
 

Elenna101

Sodbuster
In general, at the point you're at there's not much you should be keeping more than 1-2 of, I'd keep crafting materials like wood, stone, sap, fiber, coal, ore/bars, and probably keep tree seeds. Bug meat might also be good to keep for bait purposes, depending how much you expect to fish.

Re fishing, if you're having trouble with that, buying the training rod from Willy's can help with the first few levels. Once you get to level 3 or 4, switch back to the bamboo rod (or the fiberglass if you've got the money for it by then),

Selling any gems you may have found is also fine - maybe keep one or two of each for gifting. Donate to the museum until you get the free starfruit seed. After that point, museum rewards won't be useful for a while, so go ahead and sell gems after that.
 

Worblehat

Farmhand
Looking ahead a bit, melons and blueberries are pretty profitable summer crops. Try to have enough money on Summer 1 to plant a decent number of both. Meaning "what you can afford seeds for and what you're willing to water each day", basically. As usual in this game ideally you'd want to grow a bit of everything, if you can.

For right now, you've got time for one parsnip crop to grow. It's not super-profitable, but it's something.

Also note that Spring Seeds are profitable to craft - a dandelion, horseradish, leek, and daffodil sell for 180g, but turning them into 10 Spring Seeds sells for 350g. I did a fair bit of that my first spring and summer (works for Fall Seeds too, but I wasn't so pressed for cash by then).

Keep an eye on the random quest board outside Pierre's. Those pay 3x the regular price of whatever they ask for.

And as the others already explained, fishing can really help. The training rod definitely makes it less annoying to get started with!
 

Zen_the_Ogre

Sodbuster
Don't forget the berries and onions during spring. Alot of players do not have an energy budget to support big gardens and make money but using these cheap items allows for mining and fishing without wasting crops and fish for energy recovery. Also make sure to check the weather. If you upgrade the can the day before rain and then pick it up the day after you can bypass needing it for a day or delaying crops.

I myself usually do a 3x10 field until I get the copper can then upgrade to a 8x13 field. This allows me to have energy left over and have it watered by 11am. With the larger field you can afford to get the animal coops faster. It's reasonable to have a lvl 2 house and lvl 1 barn/coop by the first day of summer. With heavy fishing that first pack should be bought by 7-8 just make sure to stay in town or mountain lake as they have the easier small mouth and carp
 

LRangerR

Farmer
If you haven't done it already, build the bridge to the other side of the beach. The tidepool area there yields a lot of very good forageables, and the cost in wood is pretty cheap too.

Summer is when most people's farms really start snowballing though, so you should be fine. Most players like to fish for money but that can be frustrating for new players sometimes. However, you should be doing what you enjoy. So if you like mining/combat, find a way to make money from doing that. Void and Solar essences actually sell for a pretty good price, as do gems any excess ores or bars you might have (just don't buy too much coal from Clint for cheap bars, it'll eat into your profits).

Fishing is very profitable if you're good at it, as stated above, and foraging can be as well if you get into a rhythm.

If you like farming though, there is pretty much very few wrong ways to do it. Ranching is another option if you go that route, but it requires a much larger buy-in than most other money making methods. Probably out of your price range right now but definitely something to think about. Anyways, good luck!
 

IndiaHawker

Greenhorn
Thank you everyone! I sold some things I'd been hanging onto and did some fishing and finally got the backpack upgrade last night, yay! Appreciate the help. Love this game already but so confusing for a newb haha. Are we allowed to mention the names of other games on here btw? Silly question but things I've found that are food items like dandelions, wild horseradish etc - is it better to keep them to eat for energy or sell? Or bit of both? Is it often necessary to eat for energy or just sleep? I've found it's come in handy to have a few food items on me when in the mines but other than that haven't needed the energy too much so far! And what about things like flowers, can't seem to plant my daffodils for decoration but says they don't give energy - are they just for gifting or can they be used for decor? And lastly, what's the significance of the silver and gold stars next to things - or is this something I'll find out in due time? Thank you :D
 

LRangerR

Farmer
Almost everyone likes flowers as gifts. A couple of them hate certain flowers and i'm like "pfft whatever!" I don't think the Tub o' Flowers requires Daffodils, but there's only a small handful of craftable decor that requires flowers. Eventually you'll get indoor garden pots which you can plant decorative seeds, or crops in.

As for energy, there's this recipe you get pretty early that lets you put together all the tree seeds and it gives you a kinda health snack. And eventually you'll get a kitchen so that you can actually cook all those recipes you've been learning from the TV. You...have been watching the TV every Sunday (and kinda Wednesday) for recipes, right?
 

Elenna101

Sodbuster
If you feel like you have enough food for energy, go ahead and sell them. Sorry that's kind of a vague answer, but it really depends on your playstyle and what kind of stuff you like doing since some activities use up energy faster than others. E.g. as you've noticed, you'll definitely need food to go down the mines. Fishing also uses energy quickly, especially once your fishing level increases and you start getting bites more quickly, but you can also just eat fish for energy so it pretty much makes up for itself.
Also, yeah, the crafting (not cooking) recipe using the tree seeds can be quite useful.

The silver and gold stars indicate quality - a silver star item will sell for 1.25 times the regular price, and a gold star item will sell for 1.5 times the regular price. For some items, it's possible to get a purple (iridium) star, and those sell for 2 times the regular price. Edible items will also give more energy if they are silver or gold quality.

Re: "almost everyone likes flowers" - this is true, but just a warning that daffodils and dandelions are classified by the game as "forage", not "flower" (as you can see in the item description), so there's several people who don't like those but like other kinds of flowers.

Have fun, and try not to stress too much - it's essentially impossible to play this game wrong (even if there are certainly strategies that will get you money/friendship/whatever faster than other strategies).
 

Gilleafrey

Cowpoke
I'm still early game, day 23, so probably not meant to have much money I'm guessing! But feel confused about what I should and shouldn't sell and still don't have enough for the backpack upgrade, think I've got just over 1000 - I have spent a little bit here and there! But don't really have many crops and like I said unsure of what to sell or not! Would really appreciate some newb help haha, please and thanks!!
Save a little of everything; also don't be afraid to sell things so you have cash to buy Summer seeds (soon): as Spring crops will wither after the 28th. Chop wood, stone, grass, weeds, around the farm: they take what feels like a lot of energy now, but add to your experience & eventual stamina; fish: also takes energy, so don't be afraid to fish a lot of trash out of your local little pond, close to home-and-bed. Again, sell some, keep some, since that'll all be recycleable before TOO long... like life, you can see the "answer" is often "it depends" - the choices are all yours, and you can do no great harm. At this stage of the Year 1 game, some of your choices are going to be "eat this or sell it?" Pay attention to the Community Center, what you complete there will reward you little by little, often at just the right time.
 

Worblehat

Farmhand
Eating for energy is definitely a thing early in the game. Hopefully you have a big stack of salmonberries from the salmonberry days in mid-spring. And/or a big stack of spring onions. Both are plentiful and have very little value to sell, so they're ideal foods. Likewise the Field Snack already mentioned.

Later in the game you'll get some permanent energy increases (I'm being deliberately vague here). After the second one I haven't had to worry about energy, but I definitely do need to eat for hit points after some fighting in the mine!

Re: keep or sell, my rule of thumb is to always keep at least one of literally everything. Which means lots of chests, and thus lots of wood. As you've seen, the community center bundles want a little bit of pretty much everything, and the random quests on the board outside Pierre's shop will also ask for random stuff. It's good to be prepared. On the other hand, if you just need a little more money to afford something important to you, sure, go ahead and sell enough to do that. 🙂

For the community center bundles, note that you may pre-fill slots in a bundle if you want to save a bit of storage space, and/or remind yourself of what you already have so you can focus on whatever you still need.
 

LRangerR

Farmer
Alternatively, If you don't want to eat the stuff you find, you can just buy salads from Gus. Price-per-energy, it's the best restorative meal he sells. I don't know the details about the comparison between buying salads and eating crap you find/grow, maybe someone else can help w/ that.

Another thing about the 'Quality Stars', they also give you increased health/energy restore with the better stars, just so you know :)

As for hoarding stuff, some players like to hoard a little bit of everything, and I have my own hoarding tendencies as well, but there are very few occassions where someone will ask for something that's out of season. Unless jodi asks for a cauliflower and there's like, 2 days left in the season to grow it (not literally happens but still...jodi). That being said, hoarding things is a personal preference, and as you play you'll get a feel for what you want to do, and how you like to hoard. Some people sell everything, some people sell the bare minimum, and some people do something in between the two. Good luck on figuring it out :)
 

ShneekeyTheLost

Sodbuster
My two cents:

It's a bit late in the month to fix your money problems in the short term, so let's start considering the long play. You've got a thousand, that's not a horrible amount to go into Summer with. As others have said, Summer is probably the most profitable season of the year if you do it right.

You're going to want Blueberries and Melons, don't forget to plant at least one tomato and hot pepper for the bundle. Ideally, you'd really want Hops, but that requires Kegs to brew into Pale Ale for the actual money, and I'm guessing your farming skill is low enough that you aren't going to hit level 8 any time soon. If you hit Farming 4, you can make some Preserves Jars to make preserves out of blueberries for more money. You won't be able to process many of them, but it'll be better than nothing.

The other thing you're going to want to do is dive the mines. Ideally, you're wanting Improved Sprinklers at Farming level 6, which require Gold to craft, which means getting down to level 80. However, every Improved Sprinkler is eight crops you don't have to water by hand. That's really huge.

Eventually, you're going to want kegs because wine is generally the most profitable thing in Stardew Valley. But we can save that for later. For now, you need to build your infrastructure.

Another thing you can do sooner rather than later is to ask Robin to build a Silo, then once that is completed, build a Hutch Coop. In addition to completing a quest which yields a bit of cash, chickens are pretty decent money. You're going to want at least one of each color (white and brown) for a Bundle later, but a couple of Mayo Machines plus four chickens will be a pretty consistent money maker. Not especially amazing, but decent and consistent so long as you keep them fed (hence the Silo BEFORE the Hutch Coop). However, that's going to cost you more than you probably have, so you're going to have to put that on your to-do list after you get your first harvest of Blueberries.

EDIT: Thanks for catching that @LRangerR those responsible have been sacked.
 
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imnvs

Farmer
Foraging
-a primer by professor IMNVS

The things you find around the map? That's called foraging. In spring that's wild horseradish, daffodils, leeks and dandelions. You want to save at least 1 of each of these. In summer you'll find different things: spice berries, grapes and sweet peas. Again, save at least 1 of each. You'll want them for the CC too. Fall? Wild plums, hazelnuts and blackberries. Again, save 1 of each. Winter? Crystal fruit, crocus and holly... save 1 of each except the holly which is only good for selling. The crystal fruit and crocus, save at least 1... and dig with your hoe wherever you see the little wiggly things sticking out of the ground in order to get winter roots and snow yams, because these you'll want to save at least 1 of each for the CC as well.

After that? It's fair game on all of that stuff. Eat it if you need to, sure, if you can't find something better... but a few of those are used in cooking so I'd avoid using them as food now if you can help it. Horseradish, leeks, dandelions, blackberries, wild plums and winter roots are all used in cooking, so if you can avoid eating those, I'd recommend it.

However, of special note... salmonberries and blackberries, they can be found en masse for a few days a year each of them. The salmonberries from Spring 15-18 and the blackberries from Fall 8-11. A lot of the bushes (found all over including on the farm, in town, the backwoods, the bus stop, the cindersap, the secret woods and the mountains... and I hope I didn't miss any locations) will be seen to have berries on them during these times... shake the bush and get berries! Lots and lots of berries! Some folk will eat food that gives them a boost to forage because a higher forage skill means more berries found on each bush. You find 1 berry automatically and you find an additional berry for every 4 levels of forage you have. At forage 12, which can only be attained with buffs, this means 4 berries per bush. In year 2 you can rake in HUNDREDS of berries in a day if you really wanted to and worked for it. Once you're capable of pulling in blackberries by the hundreds for a few days, you probably don't need to keep avoiding eating them because you'll still have plenty for cooking a blackberry cobbler or so when you want to.

I'll note that I'm a hoarder. What I gather in foraging and the crops I grow, if I can use them as ingredients for cooking or crafting, or if they are easy gifts for people? I save that stuff. I try to avoid selling anything that isn't processed. Early on, especially when inexperienced, this may not be the way to go... but I could still recommend holding on to just about 1 of everything you find... just in case, unless you've already found out there is literally no use for it (like holly).
 

Squigglyruth

Farmhand
I realise you are probably past this point now, but some thoughts for anyone else in a similar situation:

For right now, you've got time for one parsnip crop to grow. It's not super-profitable, but it's something.
Actually, parsnips are a great crop to buy in spring if you are short of money. Because of their low seed price, they are the best money-maker in terms of gold per day for amount of money invested. Lots of guides advise against them, which puts people off, but looking at the maths reveals their worth:

Your 1000gp could buy 50 parsnips, which you can harvest in 4 days' time for around 1800gp. This is a profit per day of 192gp at farming level 0.
Kale, which is considered a profitable crop in most guides, fares much worse. 1000gp will buy just 14 kale, which will sell after 6 days for about 1640gp. Profit per day is only 98gp.

If you can water either field without running out of energy, parsnips are by far the better investment. They will also net you nearly twice as much farming xp for your money.

In general, at the point you're at there's not much you should be keeping more than 1-2 of, I'd keep crafting materials like wood, stone, sap, fiber, coal, ore/bars, and probably keep tree seeds. Bug meat might also be good to keep for bait purposes, depending how much you expect to fish.
I agree with this - you should sell most things throughout your first spring. Personally I sell sap as well - it fetches a good price. It is also definitely worth crafting your foraging items into spring seeds before selling them, as this increases profit considerably.

That feels like a really long time to go without the first backpack upgrade! Unfortunately, I suspect that might be slowing you down more than anything else,
I think this is an example of something that varies depending on play style. I quite often leave my backpack upgrade until late spring, to allow me to invest in other things. It is fine if you are organised with chests in various locations. I rarely end up throwing out anything of value, and it is perfectly possible to have a highly profitable spring without upgrading the backpack at all. If I had just 1000gp, it is not the thing I would prioritise. I would buy seeds to make a profit and gain farming xp.

Most of all, I think it's important to remember that there isn't any one correct way to play. Many guides out there suggest doing particular things at particular times, but there are lots of different routes to profit in the valley. The key thing to remember is to spend money on things that will help you make more money.
 
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