Stardew Valley Early Game Tips: What Items to Keep

Hello, friends! Some of you may be new to Stardew Valley and are unsure about which items are useful and which are not. During the early stages of the game, it’s common to feel hesitant about selling or discarding items. In this article, we’ll discuss some items worth keeping in the early game.

Early-game Crop Management

Prioritizing Bundles and Earning Money

In the beginning, you don’t need to keep many crops. Focus on completing Bundles and earning money during the first year. Pay special attention to the requirements for Bundles; otherwise, you’ll have to wait for another year, which can be inconvenient. High base value crops, such as Hops, Melons, Pumpkins, and Starfruits, are suitable for brewing. Lower-value crops, like Potatoes and Strawberries in the spring, can be sold directly.

Crops needed for achievements and the shipping collection can be grown in the second year or later. Some crops won’t be available in the first year anyway.

Cooking in Stardew Valley

Collecting Recipes and Knowing What to Keep

Cooking isn’t very practical in the game, and beginners can even ignore it. Don’t worry about keeping crops for cooking initially, as there are few recipes and it’s unclear what to keep. Once you’ve collected most recipes, you’ll know what ingredients are required. You can grow these crops in the second or third year, and it’s more convenient to do so in the Greenhouse or on Ginger Island. Buy multiple refrigerators for convenient storage of cooking ingredients. Early on, feel free to eat low-value items to replenish energy for chopping wood.

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Animal Products and Artisan Goods

Completing Bundles and Shipping Collections

The primary purpose of animal products is to complete Bundles and the shipping collection. Keep at least one of each product. You don’t need to raise sheep, as rabbits will also provide wool. Once the collection is complete, focus on gift-giving and cooking. Only consider raising rabbits for gifts, and keep eggs and milk for cooking, as a few dozen will suffice. If you don’t want to raise animals, you can stop altogether.

Artisan goods are mainly for Bundles, shipping collections, and earning money. There’s no need to store them.

Fishing and Foraging

Completing the Collection and Cooking

You can complete the fish collection by catching them early on. In the beginning, fish are mainly for Bundles and earning money. Later, keep some for cooking. Most fish don’t have specific recipes, but some do: Carp, Sardine, Eel, Sunfish, Pufferfish, Largemouth Bass, Flounder, Tuna, Rainbow Trout, Midnight Carp, Sea Cucumber, Salmon, and Squid – a total of 13 types. Remembering them is helpful, but if you can’t, it’s easy to recollect them later.

Most foraged items are needed for Bundles. Craft seasonal wild seeds for each season, as there are recipes for making them. Mushrooms can be used to make Life Elixirs, which unlock recipes. Some are favorites of certain characters: George loves Leeks, Sandy loves Daffodils, Sweet Peas, and Crocuses, Vincent loves Grapes, and the Wizard loves Purple Mushrooms. Cactus Fruit is a favorite of Linus, Pam, and Sam, while Haley and Linus love Coconuts. Keep one for birthdays or don’t keep any if you don’t want to give gifts in the first year.

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Foraged items other than those in the spring aren’t worth much money. Eat them for energy early on, and save gifts for later when your foraging level is high enough to find Iridium-quality items. You will also need some foraged items for cooking.

However, most of these items can be found every year, so it’s never too late to collect them later on. Another item worth mentioning is the tree sap obtained from chopping trees. In reality, tree sap has limited use. If you keep storing it, you’ll end up with a large stockpile that takes up valuable storage space. If you’re willing to sell it in the early game, go ahead and do so to free up some room.

Resource Management and Item Collection

Making the Most of Valuable Resources and Items

You’ll come across various resources that you should save, such as wood, stone, hardwood, ores, coal, clay, and fiber. These items are essential for crafting and upgrading, so it’s wise to store them whenever you find them. Smelt ores as needed and avoid hoarding too many bars, as they may become a waste later on. You can discard clay, fiber, and hardwood if they start taking up too much space, as these items have fixed demands and can be easily obtained later.

Various minerals, gemstones, and artifacts are also valuable items in the game. Some players may want to construct multiple fish ponds, which can require a variety of these items. For beginners, the most important item is the Prismatic Shard, which can be exchanged for the Galaxy Sword. Donate other minerals, gemstones, and artifacts to the museum initially. Keep extra marble, dwarf gadgets, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, as they can be traded for useful items at the Desert Trader. You can sell other surplus items without worrying too much.

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As for monster drops, there are only a few unique drops in the game, such as slime, bat wings, bug meat, solar essence, void essence, and squid ink. These items are typically used in crafting recipes. Slime has limited use, while bat wings are in high demand and can be difficult to farm. Save other monster drops if you have them, as they have their own uses.

Furniture items should be stored separately in a dedicated chest to ensure you don’t lose them. Be careful when placing special furniture and rarecrows, as they can be displaced by weeds and debris. Some items cannot be obtained again if lost, so it’s essential to store them safely.


In conclusion, this guide may not cover every detail, as many items have specific uses in later game content, such as constructing farm buildings or crafting unique recipes. However, obtaining these items is not too troublesome, and not saving them early on shouldn’t cause significant issues. If you have a preference for collecting certain items, feel free to store them according to your interests and enjoy your time in Stardew Valley.

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