You can buy soil from Hana's General Store (for FREE!) and give it as gifts to several of the characters. Some who appreciate dirt as a gift: Aaron (the sprite) and Toni. But try it out on everyone, there are many others who like it.
After you build the Travel place and your able to go to The Acient Ruins, as soon as you get there, press A on the right totem pole and you will get blueprints.
Basic Game hints
You might as well keep your animals out-side, as you get free-food for them that way. Focus to keep track of when the rain is coming though! When you first start the game, it's a good idea to simply sleep your way-through days as fast as possible. Then more people will start moving into town, and the real game will start.
Easy ways to get money
If you have any animals, get their milk, eggs, wool etc and sell that, then go to the forest mountain and river area and pick up as much as possible! Sell any poison mushrooms and bugs you find, but also be sure to make as many food and herb items into different recipes. These generally sell for a lot more. If you think you have too many animals and can't take care of them all, just sell them to Neil when his store is open.
One of the most expensive bugs you can get in your first year is the Aegis Dragonfly. They are found in the River and Mountain area in Summer, and the River, Mountain, and
area in Fall. You can sell them for 400. (The only bug you should keep is the
Honey Bee, as these will help you with making honey later in the game.)
How to get quick hearts with your animals
First thing in the morning each day, brush, milk/shear/etc, and feed all your animals. You can feed them out of doors, (you need to have grass seeds planted) but make sure you know ahead of time what days will be stormy and rainy so your animals don't get any levels of stress. You can tell what the weather will be for the next week or so by going to your mail box, looking at your most recent newspaper issue, clicking on it, then pressing y. If you animal has any level of stress, wait for Neil to come by in his caravan starting at on most week days. One of the options you get after talking to him from across the store counter is to take as many animals as you feel like to the animal sanctuary. It cost money, but it relieves stress and if you stay for the full allotment of time, it will help you a lot when competing in expert levels in animal festivals!
Also, feed your animals at least 1 treat a day. If you take care of your animals every single day, you should get lots of hearts with them! Also, don't forget to press a next to them to interact with them every day as well! If there is any barn dirt on the ground, use your pitchfork to scoop it up. Barn dirt doesn't have much use, so you can just sell it.
Few tips on how to do a few things
Ok so I am in my third year in fall and I already have many people that have moved in. Here are a few tips on how to do a few things!
Okay so I looked at the questions and a bunch of people ask about marriage with Neil. To get a lot of fp all you have to do is give Neil fodder. Say your on the Purple Heart it will take about two weeks of giving him fodder to go on to the next heart color. If you need more advice on Neil and the heart colors look on the wiki.
Calendar trick! When you get the weekly newspaper look at the weather that way when it's sunny being out your animals. This is a useful way to get the stress level to 0 and for free food. If you have chickens bring then outside whenever you can (when there moody they don't lay eggs!!) but make sure you bring them back in the coop before you go to sleep (so they will lay eggs in the mourning).
Whenever you get mail saying that a store has a new product go right away. For example: sat Rebecca's designs got a new blueprint that would most likely be a house or shop so purchase the new blueprints and get the materials! Hope I helped!
Easy Money Multiplayer
Once you get an animal, start using the Multiplayer feature (Play with someone via Internet).
If you manage to find someone, then you can milk their cows and shear their sheep/llamas and you get to keep whatever you collect. You can then sell/use these items in the game.
Get your animals outside with no hassle
Not a cheat but if you have a dog or cat you can make them bring your animals outside. It's very easy and you don't have to worry about forgetting them outside. Just go to the pet house and assign your pets to what you need them to do.
Animal Crossing Easter Egg
When you earn "The Bubbling Song," Play it and its a song from the Animal Crossing Clock.