I believe you are talking about the difference between what is called "big money (BM)", where all you do is buy treasure and VP cards, and an engine, where you use the 10 kingdom cards to produce a faster strategy? (This is, of course, an overs implication). Am I correct?
If all you have is the Base set, Big Money (or Big Money + X, where X is 1 kingdom card), will usually be dominant. There are few boards where it will fall to an "engine". This is largely due to the general flavor of Base cards. Nothing strings together quickly enough to beat 18 (BM) turns, or BMX (often Smithy) in 14 turns.
The best advice if you want to move away from that into more complicated play, is to grab a few expansions. Intrigue allows for some basic engines, seaside gets fun (try fishing village and wharf).
If there is a misunderstanding in the rules though, it would help to know exactly how you are currently playing. Your turn starts with 5 cards. You may play one action, and you have one buy. You may play any or all of your treasures, add up their value, and purchase 1 card costing up to that value. All treasures in play, your hand, and new bought cards go into your discard, and you draw 5 new cards. When your deck runs out and you can no longer draw, you reshuffle your discard.
Any card action that gives $, provides it for that turn only, and is counted with your treasure in the buy phase. Any action that gives you + X action, allows you to play that many more actions this turn, and any action that gives +draw makes you draw those cards immediately.