From doomsday preppers to campers to hunters and hikers MRE meals will offer up a wide variety of options for healthy meals. MREs or Meals Ready to Eat offer up a healthy, convenient meal that the users will simply add water to and activate a heat pack to heat up.
MREs were originally developed by the United States military during the Revolutionary War for troops that had been deployed to foreign countries or even mainland regions that were undergoing wars. The meals were designed to give them a hot and healthy meal when they were in the battlefield. The soldiers would simply add water and activate the heat pack to heat up a hot and healthy meal regardless of where they were. The meals offered up anywhere from 500 to 3000 calories depending on the particular meal that was being eaten.
Many come with entrees, side dishes, desserts, and condiments as well as utensils that are used to eat the meal with. They also include a flameless ration heater. A flameless ration heater is a water activated. This exothermic chemical heater works with water to heat up the meal in approximately 12 minutes. These are included in all of the military MREs. Since it’s water activated, there isn’t any flame. It works with a finely powdered magnesium that also has a small amount of table salt and iron added to it. When activated with a small amount of water, it will quickly reach boiling point and heat up the meal.
Today’s MREs are very different from the original military MREs. The original MREs were rather bland consisting of mostly beans and rice as well as peas. As the MREs evolved, the military began to include meat, bread and more with the meals. They were all self-contained and offered up plenty of nutrition for the soldier for the entire day.
Where To Find MREs
MREs can be found online via their manufacturer’s websites, such as XMRE, Eversafe MREs, Meal Kit Supply or Sopakco. Here people can purchase them by the case. Rarely are they sold singly except for a sample. For this reason, many people get together and order a few different cases so that they’ll have a variety of flavors and won’t be stuck with an entire case of the same meals. It’s not unusual for manufacturers to have a particular flavor on sale each month. This will rotate and it’s a great way for people to stock up on a different selection each month. Manufacturers also offer coupons and specials where you can take advantage and find some great deals.
You can also find MREs on auction sites. Sites that auction items off will have MREs for sale. However, keep in mind that you want to know the manufacturer date of the MREs before you buy them. Although MREs were designed to last for as long 25 years, you want to see how long ago they were manufactured. Be wary if they were manufactured longer than five years ago. Although they will still be healthy, they begin to lose flavor after five years. Auction sites will often try to get rid of them rapidly if they’re past that date so be sure that if you’re bidding on an auction that you check for the manufacturer date.
Online marketplace sites also offer MREs for sale. These sites offer the meals from a variety of manufacturers. The prices may vary by manufacturer and they may also go on sale occasionally. You can order several cases for a discount sometimes as well. A few of the sites will also offer you samples depending on the manufacturing company. Some of the deals will also offer free or discounted shipping.
Surplus stores are another place to consider finding deals on MREs. Here you can peruse the aisles for items that were overstocked or used by the military during certain times. The items are discounted and will still retain usefulness. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to check the manufacturer date and make sure that it’s within the last five years so that your products will be as fresh as possible.
Occasionally Big Box stores will also have MREs for sale. Check in the camping supply area or the “large family” areas of these stores for MREs. You may not find a huge selection here but you might find a few. These kinds of stores are much more likely to sell them as singles than other stores. Sometimes you can also find them in a discount bin and take advantage of huge savings. Just make sure that you check the manufacturer date before you buy.
Sporting Goods Stores also offer MREs for sale. Again, you’ll find them in the camping supply area. Some Sporting Goods Stores will also have them in a food section such as an area where they may display jerky making supplies and the like.
Gun shows are another unique place to watch for MREs. Often those who attend gun shows are quietly preparing for a catastrophic event. This means that in addition to weapons, they are also keeping a mindful eye out on MREs and the savings that they can take advantage of. Some gun shows will offer a free case of MREs along with the purchase of a weapon of some sort. This can be a fantastic way to stock up on an emergency food supply.
What’s Included In An MRE?
There are several different types of MREs on the market today. You can find MREs that are strictly snacks, you can find “full meal deals” and you can find breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and beverages. With so many options it’s easy to get confused. Add to this the fact that there are bread, sandwiches, desserts, snack trays and condiments and you can readily see that it can be a challenge to determine what you’re looking for.
This can also make it really easy to stock up on specific items for your food storage. It makes a great way to mix and match and choose what you’re going to be stored for your future meals. You can have sandwiches one night and a hot entree the next. MREs are designed in a variety of ways so that you’re not stuck with just one type of meal the entire time.
You can order by the case, half case, and some of the sites will allow you to mix and match to create your own case. It all depends on the manufacturer and how they choose to work. Not all sites are the same so be sure that you read the fine print and understand exactly what your options are when you’re ordering.
Don’t be afraid to spend a few weeks watching the site and learning how it works. If they have an FAQ (frequently asked questions) section be sure to read over it. Likely it will answer some of your questions and you’ll learn even more.
Another reason to watch these sites is that you’ll learn the sales cycles. Once you’ve learned these you can really begin to stock up on your food supplies. It’s really easy to catch on and begin to save money on your meals.
What Are MREs Used For Today?
Today, more than ever before, there are many great uses for MREs. Many people like to keep them on hand for those nights that it seems everyone has something to do. The kids may have sports, parents may have meetings and it may mean that having a hot and healthy meal at home is nearly impossible. These are the nights that the MREs might be very handy to have on hand. Everyone can grab their own favorite flavor. They’re quick and easy and everyone will eat a healthy meal in spite of how busy everyone is.
MREs also work well as a food storage item. For those who are concerned about doomsday, MREs will give them plenty of nutrition. MREs are designed for soldiers who are deployed so they pack plenty of nutrition for an everyday person. They have a stable shelf life and will last for up to 25 years. Keep in mind that they may not taste as good after about five years, however, they are still shelf stable and will be healthy to eat. For this reason, many people choose to rotate their stock so that it’s always fresh.
Campers, hikers, and bikers will all enjoy having MREs at the ready. No more packing heavy utensils or cookware to prepare a hot and healthy meal. Instead, pack a case of MREs and you’ll be able to easily pack it with your camping gear. MREs don’t take up a lot of space. They’re lightweight and easy to pack in the nooks and crannies of your car or truck when you’re camping or hiking. Bikers will appreciate that they easily fit into saddlebags on the sides of the bike. Since they’re usually packaged in mylar packaging, there is no need to be concerned about them breaking open and distributing their contents all over your gear.
Do Manufacturers Give Discounts For Bulk Buying?
Many manufacturers give a discount of as much as ten percent when you buy several months worth of food at one time. This ten percent discount can really add up if you’re trying to stock up on food and save money. A lot of people stress over having enough food for several years in their stockpile. It’s easy to do when you buy in bulk.
Some people choose to buy their MREs a few at a time and put them away safely. However, when you’re only purchasing a few at a time, you’re going to be paying full price. If you truly want to save money on MREs be sure that you learn the sales cycle, focus on what is on sale each month (most sites have something on sale each and every month). You’ll find that this is the best way to save a small fortune on what you’re buying. You’ll appreciate the savings and in many cases, you can save as much as an entire case of MREs.
Learn also to watch for “Buy One Get One” deals. Here you can often buy one product and get another product for free. These will vary according to the sales cycles but it’s also a great way to stock up and save on your favorite MRE flavors.
Another great way to save is to buy with a group. There is power in buying in bulk. When you buy with a group you’re going to be able to buy more and save more. Then you can either store them away for a group or you can divide them up among the members of the group. Either way, everyone saves and you won’t have to stress over the cost.
Many people join a group in an effort to plan for the future should there be an emergency. Whether the emergency is a power outage, a storm, an EMP or some other catastrophic event, these groups will stockpile food and weapons in an effort to be prepared for any emergency event. This is a great way to take advantage of bulk buying too.
Military MREs Vs Civilian MREs
Many people are confused as to the difference between Military MREs and Civilian MREs. There are a few differences. Technically, the Military MREs aren’t for sale to the general public. However, these can often be found on the online auction sites and in the surplus stores. They can also sometimes be found by ex-military personnel who have retired but may have had some on hand.
The other difference between Military MREs and the Civilian MREs is that the military versions also come with chewing gum, toilet paper, and are in a plain brown wrapper as compared to the civilian versions that are more colorfully packaged and don’t include those items.
They’re easily confused and technically they both offer the same benefits to those who are going to eat them. The military versions are just made for troops who may have other requirements. It’s much more likely that a civilian will have their own toilet paper, chewing gum and so on.
While it’s not illegal to buy and sell military versions of the MREs, they are a bit harder to find and when you do find them, they may not be as fresh as you’d like. Always keep this in mind and check the end of the packaging to see the manufacturers date so that you’ll have the freshest food available at all times when you’re eating.
It’s also wise to put your MREs away in storage in a fashion so that you can always eat the oldest of the products first. By doing this you’ll keep the fresher foods toward the back where they will have a longer shelf life. While MREs are a stable shelf food and they don’t technically expire, they are always freshest if eaten within the first five years of the manufactured date.
How To Check The Manufacturing Date
This is a common question and it’s not readily apparent. On the end of the packages, there will be a number stamped. Let’s say, for example, that the number is 8304. This is the manufacturing date and it may look very confusing to the layman.
So here is how you read it. The 8 stands for the year that the product was made. In this case, it’s 2008. The 304 stands for the 304th day of that year or, October 30th. Every manufacturer will do this slightly differently. So it’s always wise to read through the FAQ on the site and get a better understanding of the dates for the products that you’re considering ordering.
The more you know and understand, the easier it is going to be to figure it out and ensure that you’re ordering only the freshest products for your family’s nutritional needs.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of An MRE?
Since there are many different MREs on the market today this is going to vary. The snacks will have one value and the full meals with entrees are going to offer more nutritional value. You can opt for full meals with entrees or you can choose beverages and snacks to just beef up your emergency food supply.
Clearly, the more active you are the more calories you’re going to burn up. Be sure that you keep this in mind. A child may not need as many calories as an adult. The adult that is out chopping wood may require more calories than the elderly grandmother who is caring for the children while others are busy working to keep the emergency situation safe for as many as possible.
Other Sales To Watch For
Some sites offer daily deals. Check back daily to see what the daily special is. Once you’ve discovered the daily special you can determine if it’s something that you might want to stock up on.
Don’t forget to check clearance items. These may be slightly damaged packaging (still sealed but bent up), they may be no longer made or they may be a single package that was able to be salvaged from a case that was seriously damaged. It’s well worth the perusal of the site to see what these deals are.
Clearance and overstock items may have been stocked up on for a special and leftover from that special deal. To keep them in motion they may be on clearance and steeply discounted. This is a great way to get more food storage for your needs.
New products that come on the market typically start out on a special deal. You can often save a lot of money this way and enjoy your new found products. Often these buy one get one or they’re simply unveiled as a new product and a sales price. After the original presentation, they will go back to normal pricing. This is a fantastic way to find a great new product and stock up on it.
Again, some sites have a different product on sale each month. Watch closely for these deals as you can really stock up and save. You’d be amazed at how much savings you can get when you go this route. It’s not always easy to learn the sales cycle but once you catch on it’s well worth the time it took you to learn it.
Now that you understand where you can buy your MREs, how long they last, and the variety of products that they offer, you can begin to take advantage of savings. It’s fun and easy to get going on these and the fact that you have a meal ready no matter where you’re at or what you’re doing is great.
Keep some in your car, your RV, your camping gear, your bug out gear, your vacation house and the office. Don’t forget your own home. You’ll always have something to eat no matter where you are. Just make sure that you also have some water available at all times since many of them are water activated.
MREs offer you a full nutritional meal no matter where you’re at and under any conditions. Many people are afraid to try them but they offer a hot and healthy meal for anyone who is hungry. They’re easy to take with you, lightweight and even the smallest of hikers can carry a few in his or her backpack. Finding them on sale is all the better so take advantage of these tips and find them on sale for your family’s food storage needs. You’ll appreciate how easy it is to feed your family when you choose MREs.
MREs aren’t just for the military, they’re for everyone who eats. They’re easy to store and they offer plenty of nutritional value to those who choose to stockpile them. They’re affordable and you can readily find them on sale at a variety of locations to stock up on your food supply. You’ll appreciate the ease and convenience of MREs.