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Most go to Stardew Valley to relax and have a good time, but if you're looking to make a big profit out of your crops and animals, you're not alone. There are tons of ways to make some extra cash in the game, from quests to selling various items like crops and animal products. Trips to the mines, processing goods into artisan products, and fishing are just some of the other ways as well. But, with so many options, it can be overwhelming.

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That's because Stardew Valley is, ultimately, all about preparing for what's to come. Each season is actually about the next season, and if you have no clue about the best crops and methods to get rich, the game can feel almost painfully slow rather than rewarding and relaxing. In order to become a millionaire farmer, the grind and hard work starts from your very first month in the very first year. Follow this guide for your first two years in Stardew Valley and money won't ever be an issue to you.

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Updated January 16, 2022 by Ashely Claudino: Earning income isn't all about working hard and being rewarded straight away. Sometimes it's also good and only adds to the profit to earn some income by taking a more passive approach. We've added a section at the end of the article that will give you some ideas on how to get a bit extra cash without having to do much at all except sit back and wait, or earn money actively and wait.

The Basics Of Making Money In Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley Rich Player At Altar

The best way to make money depends entirely on your progress in the game. This guide will start from the very beginning, from the moment your character becomes a farmer in Stardew Valley. Depending on where you are in the game and what resources you have unlocked, it might be harder or easier for you to make money.

Here are a few general tips before diving into the nitty-gritty of each season of the first year, which is undoubtedly the most important part of the game in ensuring you manage to make the big bucks later on.

Only Sell Artisan Goods

Stardew Valley Artisan Goods In Chest

The biggest mistake made by beginners is to sell all their produce without first turning it into artisan goods. Granted, at the beginning of the game it's extremely hard to do this since you won't have any of the artisan machines unlocked. However, as soon as you get a keg, a mayonnaise machine, or a preserves jar, make use of them. This process will increase the price of your crops and other base-level goods significantly.

  • Put cheap vegetables in the preserves jar to make pickles out of them.
  • Put cheap fruits in the preserves jar as well to make jam out of them.
  • Put expensive fruits in kegs (and later, casks) to make wine out of them.

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The same advice goes for animal products as well. Don't sell your milk and eggs as they are, as animal products are incredibly valuable especially when turned into artisan goods. Make sure to interact with your animals daily and ensure they have plenty of food. As a result, they'll give you higher quality produce, which can be turned into higher quality artisan goods.

  • Put milk and goat's milk into a cheese press to make cheese and goat cheese, respectively.
  • Put eggs into a mayonnaise machine to make mayonnaise.
  • Put truffles into an oil maker to make truffle oil.

Only Grow The Best Seasonal Crops

Stardew Valley Artisan Goods

Stardew Valley might encourage variety through quests that demand you bring random seasonal crops to Pelican Town's inhabitants, but if you're looking to make money, you'll want to focus on a select few crops each season to get the maximum value out of your time and hard work.

Here are the best crops per season to grow for maximum profit. Remember, turn them into artisan goods first.

Season Most Profitable Crops
Spring
  • Strawberries
  • Cauliflower
  • Potatoes
Summer
  • Blueberries
  • Melons
  • Hops
  • Starfruit
Fall
  • Cranberries
  • Ancient Fruit
  • Pumpkins

Unlock The Right Professions

Stardew valley Skills

The skill system in the game allows you to unlock powerful professions, which will help you greatly during your journey into a Stardew Valley millionaire. As you progress throughout the game and develop your skills, the game will let you pick between two options for each skill whenever you reach Level 5 and Level 10.

We have a more in-depth guide on professions here that weighs the pros and cons, but in terms of making more money, here's what to pick for each skill from a money-making perspective.

Farming Mining Foraging Fishing Combat
Level 5 Profession Tiller
  • Your crops are worth 10% more.
Geologist
  • Gems have a chance of dropping in pairs.
Gatherer
  • Foraged items have a chance of dropping in pairs.
Fisher
  • Fish you catch are worth 25% more.
No effect on earnings.
Level 10 Profession Artisan
  • Artisan goods sell for a 40% higher price.
Gemologist
  • Gems sell for a 30% higher price.
Botanist
  • Items you forage are always the highest quality.
Angler
  • Fish you catch are worth 50% more.
No effect on earnings.

How To Make Money In The First Year Of Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley First Year Farm

The first year is a very important time for every player. This can truly set the tone for the rest of the game, depending on how well you manage to prepare for your second year and then eventually your third year.

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Failing to rush certain goals during your first year will make progress extremely sluggish for you come the second year, and you might find yourself low on money. This guide will detail what things you should be focusing on during each individual time of the year during your first year.

First Year Spring: Fishing And Strawberries

Stardew Valley Ocean Fishing

Goals:

  • Make money primarily from fishing.
  • Build a chicken coop.
  • Get to level 90 in the Mines.
  • Plant strawberries following the Egg Festival.

Plant the parsnips you receive at the beginning of your game, but remember, your primary source of money will probably be fishing. On the second day, Willy will be back from his fishing trip and he'll give you a free bamboo fishing pole. This is one of the best investments in the game, since you spend no money on the fishing pole and fish sell for much higher price than crops in the beginning. Go fishing on a daily basis, and you should be able to level up your skill fast and unlock your first profession soon.

Once the mines open up, get started on grinding your way down. The mines are crucial, because you want to be able to reach iron as fast as possible to make sprinklers. Sprinklers will later determine just how much money you can make in your first year, as you'll be able to grow larger numbers of crops without the cost of time spent on irrigating them yourself.

Stardew Valley Egg Festival

Although fishing is your best friend, save up all your money until the Egg Festival arrives in town. Pierre will sell strawberry seeds at the festival, and they are by far the best crops to grow in the spring of your first year. Plant them right away to get the most out of them, because they keep producing after each harvest without needing to be replanted.

Don't spend all your money here though, since it's vital you can also afford to build a basic coop and purchase a few chickens by the end of this season, which will let you make mayonnaise for some extra cash.

First Year Summer: Blueberries And Hops

Stardew Valley Blueberry Summer Farm

Goals:

  • Grow blueberries and hops.
  • Go fishing on a daily basis.
  • Craft more sprinklers.

Summer is a pretty straightforward season, if you prepared for it well during spring time. You should have a bit of cash leftover from spring to buy all the hops and blueberries you can afford, the best crops for the season.

If you did manage to unlock some sprinklers, that's good! Now is the time to put them to good use. Build the biggest farmland you can and put your crops around those sprinklers to save yourself some time and energy.

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Aside from growing blueberries and hops, and potentially turning them into artisan goods by now, you'll want to focus on fishing as well. This is another steady source of income, so don't ignore it even after spring.

If you have a bit of time, go mining to get some resources for more sprinklers. Save a few days for yourself to gather resources at your farm, and if you're doing particularly well, you can already start preparing for fall season by checking the bundles you need to complete for the Community Center. Overall, you should make quite a bit of cash this season.

First Year Fall: Complete The Bundles

Stardew Valley Community Center

Goals:

  • Unlock the greenhouse by completing all of the Pantry bundles.
  • Unlock the bus by completing the Vault bundles.
  • Start tapping for oak resin, which is needed for Kegs.
  • Unlock Iridium sprinklers.

Fall is going to be a very busy season, but if you focused on making money primarily during summer, you should be good to go forward. If you want to do some farming this season you can plant cranberries. However, the most important part is to start tapping oak trees for resin, which you can use to make kegs later on in the game for some of the best artisan goods. Head to the mines as well and grind as much iron as you can. Once you unlock the bus, you'll want to farm iridium in Skull Cavern, too. Make sure to upgrade whatever tools you can afford in this season, or at the very least in the next season.

The important part here is to begin your grind for Iridium sprinklers. Fall and winter are the ideal time for that, since the spring of the second year is your earliest chance to start making big money once again. On top of that, the two bundles you'll want to unlock at the Pantry and Vault bundles at the Community Center. If you're going the Joja route, the process will be easier and much faster.

First Year Winter: Clear Your Farm

Stardew Valley Winter

Goals:

  • Get your farm ready for crops by clearing out trees and rocks.
  • Finish any bundles and mine adventures now.

Winter is your time to catch up if you've found yourself struggling with the pacing so far. It's the ideal time to head straight to the mines and Skull Cavern and get all the iridium and iron you can afford, as well as finish up any tool upgrades you need. Given how much time you'll most likely spend in the mines, any gems you find can act as a great source of emergency income. You'll also have plenty of time to do quests and get to know the inhabitants of Stardew Valley.

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It's strongly advised to try and finish up the Pantry and Vault bundles by now. Having the bus and the greenhouse unlocked for the second year will greatly improve your chances of making huge profits. And of course, don't forget about those iridium sprinklers. The more you can get, the better. If you've met Krobus by now, you can even visit his shop regularly as he sells Iridium sprinklers for 10,000 gold each on Fridays. It's a solid investment, and you'll make your money back easily in the coming summer.

How To Make Money In The Second Year Of Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley Sprinklers

Congratulations on surviving the first year! It's not easy to get this far, but if you prepared properly, the second year will prove to be much easier and you can mostly sit back and relax while your crops and sprinklers do the work for you. As a recap, here's what you should have by now to have a smooth transition into your second year.

  • Steel tools
  • Iridium sprinklers
  • Multiple jars of oak resin for kegs
  • The bus and the greenhouse

Second Year Spring: Strawberries And Rhubarb

Stardew Valley Rhubarb Farm

Goals:

  • Grow strawberries and rhubarb for the best profit.
  • Develop your Farming skill in order to unlock kegs.
  • Get materials and craft kegs for summer.

Spring is all about preparing for summer once again, and the best way to prepare is to plant a bunch of strawberries and rhubarb to develop your farming skills. The main focus is to unlock the keg crafting blueprint, which you get at Farming Level 8. The more kegs you can make, the better. Once again, wait until the Egg Festival to get your hands on strawberry seeds. Until then, you can get rhubarb from Sandy's store in the Desert.

Second Year Summer: Kegs And Crops

Stardew Valley Kegs Inside Barn

Goals:

  • Get Starfruit seeds from Sandy's shop in the Desert.
  • Focus on profit from kegs.
  • Unlock the Deluxe Barn and invest in pigs.

Summer of the second year will be your first big money-making season. You have the kegs, you have the iridium sprinklers, now all that's left to do is to sit back and relax. First, make sure to buy and plant all the Starfruit you can get from the Desert.

If you have money limitations, you can even plant blueberries like you did in your first year, along with hops. These three crops will make you massive profits, as long as you managed to craft as many kegs as possible. Turn everything you can into wine or beer using the kegs.

RELATED: Stardew Valley Guide: What You Can Do In Every Area

On top of that, you should have enough money now to unlock the Deluxe Barn, and invest in pigs. Pigs will find truffles for you, which you can turn into truffle oil. Unlike kegs, the oil maker produces its artisan goods relatively fast, so it's a great method, provided you can afford it.

Second Year Fall: The Greenhouse

Stardew Valley Fruit Trees Inside Greenhouse

Goals:

  • Get Ancient Seeds.
  • Grow cranberries on the side.

By now, you should have a pretty well-established farming system in your backyard. You have massive sprinkler-filled lands that can take care of the best crops you can afford, and you have the greenhouse that lets you grow any crops you want at any time of the year. Money should not be a problem at this point, and you can even expand your farm by building a barn and buying more animals.

However, if you're into maximizing those profits for the long game, try to get your hands on some Ancient Seeds, and plant them in your greenhouse. The Ancient Seeds produce Ancient Fruit, which is one of the best crops in the game. To unlock it, dig around artifact spots in the mountains or in Cindersap Forest for the highest chance of finding one. You'll eventually find an Ancient Seed artifact. Donate it to Gunther, who will gift you with an Ancient Seed packet and a crafting recipe to make more seeds. One your first fruit mature, you can use a few of them in the Seed Maker to get back more Ancient Seeds.

Second Year Winter: Reorganize Your Farm

Stardew Valley Farm Layout At Winter

Goals:

  • Turn any excess crops into artisan goods.
  • Reorganize your farm for the third year.

You've come to the end of the second year. Your farm is a well-oiled machine now, but you probably want more. You have no doubt unlocked Skull Cavern at this point, which means you have access to more iridium and other resources. Use them to craft more sprinklers and fund more buildings for your farm.

From this point onward, the choice is really yours, but if you care about profits, keep in mind which seasonal crops are the best and always turn your produce into artisan goods. Happy farming!

How To Earn Money Passively

Stardew Valley crab pots on a beach

Earning gold passively is just as important as doing it actively and may result in just as much profit. Here are some great ways to do it.

Fish Ponds

fish pond and caviar stardew valley

Consider talking to Robin at the Carpenter's Shop and building some fish ponds on your farm. Not only is it a great and practical way to fish but it also provides a great artisan good that can be very valuable: Roe. Roe is worth 30g plus the base fish price divided by two. If placed in a preserves jar, it'll turn into Aged Roe which is worth 1.4 the value of the initial Roe. However, this isn't how you're going to be making big bucks with fish ponds.

Sturgeon Roe when aged in a preserves jar will turn into Caviar which is worth 500g or, if you've chosen the Artisan profession, 700g. And, only one Sturgeon is required in a fish pond for it to produce Roe.

Crab Pots

player standing on beach pier with a lot of crab pots placed

Although crab pot loot isn't worth a whole lot of money, the good thing about this item is how you can place it with some bait in just about any body of water in the game, and it'll get you something. If you make tons of them, you can simply walk by each day to check what they've caught and all you have to do is pick them up and move on. It's barely any work, so it's perfect for passive income.

Tappers

Stardew Valley - The Bus stop with Tappers on Trees - Close up of Tappers on Trees

Tappers and heavy tappers are quite similar to crab pots, you place them and then leave them alone for a couple of days until you've got something to collect and sell. You can craft a handful of them and then place them on nearby trees for later.

NEXT: Stardew Valley Complete Guide And Walkthrough

Stardew Valley: Complete Guide And Walkthrough

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