1: Kill the weak children
This may seem like using a chainsaw where a scalpel is needed, but go ahead and get this out of the way first. If you don't have children, skip to tip number 2. If you DO have some, pick out the weakest and "send them on a milk run". And by "send them on a milk run" I of course mean bury them in a shallow grave in an industrial park off the 110. In the olden days (the 1960's) the infant mortality rate was somewhere near 75%. Now, with the advent of medicine and things, weaker children are living longer than ever. When it comes down to it, do you really want someone working the fields with a deadly peanut allergy? Can you feed a family of 4 with Asthma medicine and epi-pens? No... but you can bet your ass you can feed a family of three.
Protip: If you have more than one weak child, pit them against the other. At the end of the day, one is sucking off the great humidifier in the sky, and the other has learned the survival instinct. Also, try using canned foods for side betting with the Argentinians down the block.
2) Start Having Children
This might seem counter intuitive, but in the barren wasteland of a post economic America (see: Allentown, PA) farming and agriculture will be key. And that key will be turned on the backs of cheap labor. History shows that there is labor none cheaper (or delicious) like child labor. Teach your children rudimentary maintenance to cut down on equipment overhead. My personal studies have shown that a large plow can be pulled by 4 toddlers with the right motivation. If you have older children, take the two oldest and send them to your own personal reeducation camp that you've set up in the back yard. After two weeks of indoctrination, they will be ready to go back into the workforce to deliver the "One True Message". Just make sure that one true message includes taking out the damn garbage.
Protip: "Stairstep" Your children so that as the older ones die of exposure, you have a constantly refreshed workforce.
3) Guns, Guns, Guns.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but firearms are the most often overlooked element to have in your home. You want to have an advantage in the breadlines. It doesn't matter who your friends on the block USED to be, it matters who they are now. Does Ted have something to offer other than a kickin' rad in ground pool? If not, feel free to use him at your disposal. Don't be inconspicuous with your armament selections either. When you kick down Ted's french doors, you're going to want to make a statement and 9mm isn't going to speak loud enough. You can bet your sweet bippy that Ted's going to be a lot easier going about you "borrowing" his gasoline when he's sucking on the business end of a Benelli M4 Semi-Auto 12 guage.
Raid a pawn and gun store for arms. Use your new workforce as a marauding gang of thieves. After a few months, start offering "protection" to other houses around the neighborhood. You can utilize the Home Owner's Association President's list to get a real lay of the land. Feel free to exact revenge on Carroll (4 time president) for ruining your July 4th party in 2005.
Protip: In later stages of the economic collapse, up-armor your wife's Saab.