-Try and collect at least 1 of every item as you progress. So, if you kill an enemy, and look at it in your Creature Compendium, and see it has an item you don't have, keep killing it until you get that item.
Aside from that, the earliest "Grind Point" I'd recommend is immediately after you get the ship. Find the Swan Islands to the NW of the Summerlands Continent, and look for Toko.
I sometimes feel as though life is a curse that has been placed on the living. I envy the unborn at times.