How to Make Lots of Bells in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Image © Nintendo

The world presented in Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS is bright, colorful, and friendly. Nobody seems to be wanting for much, except maybe for the occasional butterfly in the Museum. But however happy your personal village may be, you’re still going to need plenty of money – “Bells” – to really make your town shine and keep your citizens happy. Here are some easy tips for making lots of bells in the game:

Buy Fortune Cookies with Play Coins, Then Sell Your Prizes

The Nooklings’ Store on Main Street offers fortune cookies, most of which contain a prize ticket for a Nintendo-related item (Super Mushrooms, Fire Flowers, and whatnot). These are a lot of fun to collect if you’re a fan of Nintendo tchotchkes. They’re also valuable. If you’re decorating your house to match a theme that doesn’t involve Nintendo, consider selling off your Nintendo toys as you win them. You can also sell off any doubles that you receive. Fortune cookies are bought with Play Coins, which you earn by walking with your Nintendo 3DS. In other words, you can practically “buy” them for free. All you have to do is take your Nintendo 3DS with you when you do chores, which you should be doing anyway.

Find, Plant, and Harvest Foreign Fruit 

Your town has its own native fruit, and each piece generally sells for 100 bells in New Leaf. However, you can also procure non-native fruit, which typically goes for 500 bells per piece. If you get even a single piece of non-native fruit, make sure you plant it. Then plant the fruit of that tree, and in time you’ll have an orchard worth thousands of bells! Fruit trees can be harvested every three days once they’re fully grown. The easiest way to grab foreign fruit is to visit a friend’s town via a local connection or Wi-Fi, stuff your pockets, and plant the fruit when you get home. Also, your animal citizens may gift you with a piece, plus you can get a basket of non-native fruit if you complete all of the tasks that Isabelle assigns to you in City Hall. If all else fails, travel to your town’s Island, grab some tropical fruit, and plant it. Make sure not to plant your trees too close together, or too close to a building or rock, or they won’t grow. Fruit that grows on palm trees, like coconuts and bananas, need to be planted close to the beach in order to flourish.

Find and Grow “Perfect Fruit”

In New Leaf, you may find a piece of “perfect fruit.” Perfect fruit looks especially lush and tantalizing, and one piece is worth 600 bells. You can plant perfect fruit to grow a tree full of perfect fruit, but perfect fruit trees are fragile and will need to be re-planted after they’ve been harvested. You can take home a non-native piece of perfect fruit from a friend’s town and sell it for 3000 bells, but unfortunately, you can’t grow non-native perfect fruit trees.

Shake Down Trees

You can shake trees by standing next to them and pressing the “A” button. If you’re lucky, money may fall out. You may even score a piece of furniture (don’t ask how it got up there), which you can sell if you don’t want it. There’s also a good chance you’ll shake a beehive down from the tree. If you’re quick, you can catch a bee for your Museum collection. Alternatively, you can avoid getting a face full of stingers if you run into a house. But even if you get attacked, you can collect the empty hive and sell it for 500 bells. Painful and rewarding! 

Search for Unusual Rocks, then Smash Them!

Every day, if you look hard enough, you’ll find one rock in your town that is shaped very differently from the other rocks in your town. If you bash this rock open with your ax or shovel, you can find ore inside. Ore sells for a lot of money, so make it your mission to find your daily “weird” rock.

Tip: Over at Re-Tail, Reese’s mate, Cyrus, can forge gold furniture for you if you bring him some gold ore.

Hunt for the Daily Money Rock 

Again, the rocks in Animal Crossing: New Leaf will offer up a bounty to those who know where to look. Once a day, a select rock in your town will cough up bells if you hit it with your ax or shovel. The rock dishes out money in increasing multiples, but you have precious few seconds to get everything you can out of it, and recoil will slow you down. You can increase your rock’s output with practice, or by digging holes behind you to absorb the recoil.

Sell at Re-Tail

Re-Tail is the town’s recycling shop/flea market. You can sell most of the items you collect at Re-Tail for a higher price than what you’d get at the Nooklings’ store. Retail is also more convenient to visit, given that it’s in your town whereas the Nooklings’ store is on Main Street. That said, Reese will charge you a small fee to get rid of garbage, including tires, shoes, and even Crazy Redd’s fake paintings (which you can keep for your own house, by the way). 

Check out Reese’s High-Priced Item of the Day

There’s a little chalkboard outside of Re-Tail that lists up to six items that will earn you twice as many bells if you bring them in. Check it daily.

Play the Stalk Market

-Animal Crossing has a “stalk market” that’s based around turnips. Every Sunday morning, you can buy turnips from a boar named Joan. Then throughout the week you can talk to Reese and Re-Tail and find out what your turnips are selling for. The price changes twice daily: Once when Re-Tail opens for the day, and again at noon. You must sell your turnips by the next Sunday morning, or they’ll spoil.“Buy low, sell high” is obviously your key to making a huge profit, but it’s harder than it sounds. has a great stalk market guide that can help you cash in big-time.

Catch Fish and Bugs on the Island

Once you get settled into your new life, you’ll gain the ability to travel to a tropical island off the coast of your town. The fee is 1,000 bells (the cost covers return), but you’re sure to make that up several times over with the piles of high-priced bugs and fish that you can gather while you’re there.Your spoils can’t leave the island in your pockets, so make sure you check it all into the basket near the exit for the boat docks. The contents of the basket will wind up on the dock back in your town, so you can pick over them and sell what you want at your leisure.

Work on Your Feng Shui

In China, Feng shui is a system that’s supposed to improve the luck of people who arrange household objects in specific patterns. Feng shui goes far deeper than that simplified explanation, of course, but it’s all you need to know to score a little extra cash in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. If you arrange yellow and green items in certain ways, you can find extra money and wind up paying less for items. 

Dig Up and Sell Fossils

Every day, you’ll find star-shaped cracks on the ground. If you use your shovel to dig these up, chances are good you’ll score a fossil. Fossils can be analyzed by Blathers at the Museum, and from there you can sell or donate them. Fossils sell for a lot of money, though sometimes it’s best to just go ahead and donate what you find. That said, once your Museum fills out a bit, you can count on finding plenty of doubles that you can sell without suffering donator’s guilt.

Take and Sell Items From the Lost and Found

If you build a police station in your town, you’ll also inherit a Lost and Found. The Lost and Found accumulates bits of furniture, stationery, and other items that you can take with you and sell. It’s not entirely honest, but hey, finders keepers.

Sell the Animals’ Gifts 

Keeping in the theme of moneymaking ideas that are just a little bit scummy: You can sell gifts that your animal pals bequeath to you. Don’t feel too bad, though. Sometimes they’ll just straight out admit that they detest the item they’re foisting on you. Even better, it’s not unusual to find the gifts you give them up for sale at Re-Tail’s flea market.