The MRE has gained mainstream popularity in recent years, finding its way out of soldier’s packs and into the family cupboard. Whether civilians are preparing for catastrophic events or enjoy hitting the hiking trails frequently, Meals Ready to Eat are convenient and often essential items to have within reach.
Unfortunately, there are a few major downsides to the traditional MRE. Many available for retail purchases are bland, lack variety and might also scare away your wallet. The average cost of MRE cartons ranges from $40 to $60.
You could actually be paying more for a single freeze-dried meal than a reasonably priced dinner at your favorite restaurant. So, what’s a self-sufficient spendthrift to do? Get creative and make your own (for cheap) right in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Make Your Own MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat)
All decent Meals Ready to Eat need to follow these essential rules:
- easily packs away into small spaces
- are very lightweight
- contain an optimal amount of nutrition in a relatively small portion
- are easy to prepare, consume and clean up
- taste well enough to finish eating
So, find things in your grocery store, or in your cupboard that you already enjoy that fit these categories. Try to remember that in a situation where MRE’s are used, normal amenities will not be around.
You may not have even the most basic tools normally used to cook and eat meals. Water could be scarce, starting a fire could be difficult, and it isn’t very practical to carry around pots, pans, bowls, and plates in a situation where survival will be your biggest priority.
Items to Consider
- Highly nutritious energy bars
- A handful of nuts, dried fruit such as raisins, bananas, apricots, peaches
- Sunflower Seeds
- A few pieces of beef jerky, a small can of spam, potted meat etc.
- Instant oatmeal, grits or cream of wheat
- Just add Water Mixes (Various Breakfast, lunch, dinner, soups, etc)
- Crackers with lots of complex grains for sustained energy
- Single-serve peanut butter
- A serving of instant coffee, tea, hot chocolate
- A lighter, flint, matches
- Water purifying tablets
- A collapsible cup
Again, these are merely suggestions, make sure to get creative and personalize your MRE’s with items that you and your family will eat and enjoy.
Ideally, you should place your items in a vacuum-sealed bag which can be purchased for as little as $30 and will save you a lot of money in general. However, if that is not an option you can use a Ziploc bag, just be sure to get out as much air as possible to avoid weight and bulk.
Keep in mind for your bug out vehicle or food storage that canned foods can sometimes be the cheapest and easiest MRE. Though they can weigh more, most canned beans, meat, fruits, and vegetables can be eaten cold right out of the can.
The can itself makes a cooking utensil if a fire has been started. The lid can be folded and used as a spoon (exercise caution) and once empty can be washed out and used for a cup.
What kind of items do you have in your homemade MRE’s?
©Canstock Photo alkiona25