Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I started doing prepping for food I was pretty obsessed about getting a box of mres. I dont know if it was a "coolness" factor, or maybe the fact that they last for so long but when I started getting down to business with the food preps, a box of mres is very expensive. I bought a box for 80 bucks and could buy quite a bit of can food for the same 80$. I then started putting together my own mres, and getting a pouch of tuna or chichen breast, along with a pouch of mashers or rice, throw in a couple tea or powered beverage and a granola bar and your good to go. I like the idea of the "real" mres having such a long life, especially since I keep them in the fridge, but price is a real issue. I have also stocked up on the mountainhouse foods which run 6 bucks, they are suppose to feed 2 people(probably 2 small portions, but many think that they have a great taste to them, and they are super light and last for 15+ years which is excellent. I guess its good to have a variety. Any thoughts.....do any of you have preferences toward one type of food over another?
 

·
I am whatever I say I am
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
In my short experience, MREs loose to regular canned food in cost and taste. The only good thing about them is their long shelf life. They may have a place in a bug-out bag/vehicle/location, but if your plan is to bug in, or you are simply prepping for food shortages, investing large amounts of money in MREs is not the way to go.
 

·
How's it with stains?
Joined
·
283 Posts
Well, I'm cheap, so I'd be making my own. If we're talking about anything long term it would be way healthier for you than mres too. My next big swim is going to be in food preps and I'm going to be aiming for home-canning. You can do whole meals (chili, soups, etc...) or single items which means you can expect (I presume) it to taste just as if you made it that day. Plus, they're supposed to keep indefinitely as long as the seal isn't broken between the jar & lid. There's nothing like elbow grease to cut your expenses. I'd rather have the extra I save doing it myself to spend on other stuff we need. I guess it can cost a good bit to get the equipment to begin with but I figure that can be eased by growing your own food too (which will taste better and be healthier to boot). There's a good bit of info in here if you decide to. At least enough to point you toward good books and such. Hope this helps. Good luck and stay in the yellow.
 

·
High on a mountain top
Joined
·
435 Posts
I think variety is best.

Definitely nice to have some MREs, granola/protein bars, canned soups and stews all of which are quick to prepare when you don't have a lot of time. But for low price and long term storage raw foods like rice and grains are ideal.

They all have a place in prepping IMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
MRE's have many great qualities, and are probably the single greatest 'survival' food. They last the longest of anything you can buy pre-prepared, they are individually packaged in premade meals, they are easy to use, store, grab in a hurry. They are great for trading. They are near impossible to hurt. Their taste is fine.

Their single greatest disadvantage is cost. Right now they are around 8 bucks a piece. That is just too expensive to stock up for anything more than a couple of weeks. Consider that complete meals made from stuff like canned goods, rice, oats beans, etc. can be made for well under a dollar. So when you can prepare an entire weeks worth of preps for the price of a single MRE, the choice is easy.

I would recommend everybody having at least a case of mres, just because they can't be beat in their overall effectiveness as survival preps. A case of MRE;s is the best grab-and go or bug out rations you can have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
Well, I'm cheap, so I'd be making my own. If we're talking about anything long term it would be way healthier for you than mres too. My next big swim is going to be in food preps and I'm going to be aiming for home-canning. You can do whole meals (chili, soups, etc...) or single items which means you can expect (I presume) it to taste just as if you made it that day. Plus, they're supposed to keep indefinitely as long as the seal isn't broken between the jar & lid. There's nothing like elbow grease to cut your expenses. I'd rather have the extra I save doing it myself to spend on other stuff we need. I guess it can cost a good bit to get the equipment to begin with but I figure that can be eased by growing your own food too (which will taste better and be healthier to boot). There's a good bit of info in here if you decide to. At least enough to point you toward good books and such. Hope this helps. Good luck and stay in the yellow.
I have heard a lot about home canning, but i just find it hard to believe that it can actually be cheaper than buying generic brand canned goods from the store. (especially after labor time and necessary equipment is factored in). I mean, you still have to buy the cans/jars and the sealing lids, etc. I get cans of most veggies from walmart for about 50 cents. Can that really be beat with home canning? I have never seen anybody post just how much it costs to home can.
 

·
How's it with stains?
Joined
·
283 Posts
I have heard a lot about home canning, but i just find it hard to believe that it can actually be cheaper than buying generic brand canned goods from the store. (especially after labor time and necessary equipment is factored in). I mean, you still have to buy the cans/jars and the sealing lids, etc. I get cans of most veggies from walmart for about 50 cents. Can that really be beat with home canning? I have never seen anybody post just how much it costs to home can.
I don't know about cost for sure either - except that it has to be cheaper than MREs. Didn't mean to post it as fact...just my presumption. I would prefer to do the "extra" work myself though. I'm comfortable with trusting the increase in health/nutrition of home-canned stuff too. At least I know that some border jumper didn't take a dump in the field my veggies came from because it was part of some huge commercial operation where there weren't any facilities around for the cheap labor to use. My boss scared me real good with that story!! After all, home canning has its roots in home gardens anyway. I know you can save by growing it yourself. I know everyone's not able to grow their own food but if the OPer can then I'd recommend it...and that the produce be home-canned. Otherwise, yes, one may be better off buying commercially canned products. Plus there's the canned stuff we pretty much must buy if we're going to have it (i.e. -tuna). I guess I was looking at more than just the money side of it though - sorry if that went beyond the bounds of the OP. As a survivalist I tend to plan for if there is no more WalMart with canned foods. I better be prepared for if that happens. Self-sufficiency to the max.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
I don't know about cost for sure either - except that it has to be cheaper than MREs. Didn't mean to post it as fact...just my presumption. I would prefer to do the "extra" work myself though. I'm comfortable with trusting the increase in health/nutrition of home-canned stuff too. At least I know that some border jumper didn't take a dump in the field my veggies came from because it was part of some huge commercial operation where there weren't any facilities around for the cheap labor to use. My boss scared me real good with that story!! After all, home canning has its roots in home gardens anyway. I know you can save by growing it yourself. I know everyone's not able to grow their own food but if the OPer can then I'd recommend it...and that the produce be home-canned. Otherwise, yes, one may be better off buying commercially canned products. Plus there's the canned stuff we pretty much must buy if we're going to have it (i.e. -tuna). I guess I was looking at more than just the money side of it though - sorry if that went beyond the bounds of the OP. As a survivalist I tend to plan for if there is no more WalMart with canned foods. I better be prepared for if that happens. Self-sufficiency to the max.
yeah I realize you didn't state it as fact. It just seems to be commonly accepted that it was cheaper, so I was wondering what the actual costs were, because buying it in the store is relatively inexpensive.

You are totally right about the self sufficiency though. Being able to store any foods you get AFTER an event would be a huge advantage, and is honestly something I haven't thought much about. We all talk about gardening and hunting in some capacity, but what to do with any food you do get?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Like another poster said MRE's definitely have their purpose. They need absolutely no preparation and no water to cook or eat, save for the drink mix you get with them. Freeze dried food needs water. Other food needs preparation of some sort. They are expensive so that's prohibitive. Also they are very hard on the digestive sytem....i.e. clog you up real fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Home canning has several advantages over store bought.
First you know exactly whats in the jar. There is no worry about salt, msg content, or rat parts. you made it you know whats in it.
Second I would bet Granny's Bean soup recipe taste a lot better than anything canned.
Third the jars are reusable so there is a lot less waste. Also in a SHTF type situation would you really want your neighbors seeing a bunch of cans in your garbage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
MRE's are great, if you can afford them. I find them bulky as well (lots of packaging). But their shelf life and variety tends to even out the downside.
We have several bins of food that comprise many different sources. MRE's, canned goods, dry goods (rice, grains, beans) along with drink mixes, a good Miox water purifier and two stoves.
The whole thing goes into our van in about 2 minutes. Everything is packed and ready to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,123 Posts
I have heard a lot about home canning, but i just find it hard to believe that it can actually be cheaper than buying generic brand canned goods from the store. (especially after labor time and necessary equipment is factored in). I mean, you still have to buy the cans/jars and the sealing lids, etc. I get cans of most veggies from walmart for about 50 cents. Can that really be beat with home canning? I have never seen anybody post just how much it costs to home can.
I get most of my jars from the want adds in the local paper for a fraction of the price of new. I have yet to see canned meat in the store that can compare to home canned. In a pint jar, I can have 1 lb of good, quality roast beef, chicken, pork, ect. Not some mechanicly separated mystery meat with God knows what else in it. One other factor that only home canning can provide is the ability to refill those jars when more food is aquired via hunting and growing, as long as you have a supply of lids. Canning my own vegetables works in conjunction with planting heirloom seeds. My meat is mostly venison that I hunted. The cost of the meat is my licence fee, which works out to about 50 cents per pound, give or take. The cost of canning vegetables, after figuring time and effort, probably is a little more expensive; but knowing that my little chunk of property produced it is a feeling of satisfaction that makes it worth it to me.
 

·
Just use a 2x4
Joined
·
822 Posts
I have heard a lot about home canning, but i just find it hard to believe that it can actually be cheaper than buying generic brand canned goods from the store. (especially after labor time and necessary equipment is factored in). I mean, you still have to buy the cans/jars and the sealing lids, etc. I get cans of most veggies from walmart for about 50 cents. Can that really be beat with home canning? I have never seen anybody post just how much it costs to home can.
I am stocking up on store bought canned goods, because they are cheap right now.

I am also buying canning jars and lots of extra lids for when the SHTF. I want to be able to put up my own food. I buy a few here, a few there... too expensive to buy all at once.

Also, I won't buy "made in mexico" or "made in china". So, the canning jars will come in handy.

Right now, I absolutely cannot find ANY mandarin oranges that don't come from china - so, I will be canning mandarin oranges myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
MRE's are selling locally for $9 a package. That is simply too much.
very true, I don't buy them. Being in the military however, I just hoard the ones that are given to us. People cast them aside like they are nothing. From a two week period of being in the field, i managed to collect 40 unopened MRE's. That's couple of weeks of preps absolutely free! It would have cost well over 200 dollars to buy them all.
 

·
I'll fix it
Joined
·
2,548 Posts
I think variety is best.

Definitely nice to have some MREs, granola/protein bars, canned soups and stews all of which are quick to prepare when you don't have a lot of time. But for low price and long term storage raw foods like rice and grains are ideal.

They all have a place in prepping IMHO.
My thoughts exactly...variety. I have been adding every type for any number of scenarios. I have Mountain House pouches, MRE's, Yoder's meats, canned butter & cheese, regular canned goods, LDS oats & rice.
I just need to keep adding more in each catagory. If you can do the home canning thing, even better.
 

·
How's it with stains?
Joined
·
283 Posts
very true, I don't buy them. Being in the military however, I just hoard the ones that are given to us. People cast them aside like they are nothing. From a two week period of being in the field, i managed to collect 40 unopened MRE's. That's couple of weeks of preps absolutely free! It would have cost well over 200 dollars to buy them all.
Excellent!! Scrounging is surviving IMHO. I wanted to mention also that I do think MREs have there place. I wouldn't want to subside on them but that's not what they were meant for in the first place. A BOB or BOV is the perfect place for them to provide a boost while B-ing O.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
Just a FYI, I have my mother buy MREs for me. She is retired air force so she gets them at the Commisarry at Wright Patterson AFB. They cost $4.95 each and they are the TOTMs. Essentially the TOTMs are MREs intended for use stateside. They don't have the postcard also the TOTMs only have a shelf life of 12 to 18 months @ 80 dgrees but I have used them older. The reason for the shelf life is the packaging materials. Just to let you know MREs have a shelf life of 3 years @ 80 degrees but I think we all know those shelf lifes are BS

Tailored
Operational
Training
Meal

TOTM LSN: 8970-01-E10-0238

Everyone contains approx 997 calories:

1. Entree meal with a water activated flameless heater

2. Pears in a pouch

3. Potato sticks "YUM" or Pretzel Sticks "Yuck"

4. Fig Bar or Peanut Butter and Crackers

5. M&Ms either plain or peanut

6. Seasoning pack

7. Spork, Moist towelette, Gum

8. Flavored drink pouch


I have over 120 of these at home and rotate them as I use them for paintball games and selling them to other paintball players. I figure 120 of these will sustain me for 40 days "Hard Labor" 60 days "Medium Labor" or 120 days "Lounging around"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
I've started creating my own "mre's" because of a good deal of fresh garden goodies left to be eaten, just before our first frost/freeze.
That's when I dug out my dehydrator, dried those veggies, started drying rice and noodles, too, so I could make up some FreezerBag meals (just add water). http://www.freezerbagcooking.com/index.htm
It's been a fun learning experience, drying 'components' for a meal-in-a-bag, combining, then testing them, and finally sealing those up.
Even my DH thought they were pretty good !
I'd say I have at least a dozen completely made up, and several more just waiting for me to combine the ingredients, label,
vacc-seal (while in the ziploc) and store.
I have ALSO dug out some older Ball canning jars !!
Now that I've discovered (here, THANKS !!) that I can actually preserve BUTTER in them, I'm gonna be freeing up alot of freezer room, pretty darned quick ! hehe :upsidedown:
We have a pressure cooker/canner which only does up 5 pints at a time, so even though there are more practical ones for a season's worth of harvest at one time, it's SUPER for canning the occasional batch of LEFTOVER soups, stews, chili, etc.
(does anyone ELSE know some people who REFUSE to eat leftovers ?? ARRGH !! :eek: sorry.. 'nother thread, I'm sure.. hehe)
So, I guess you could say that I'm stocking both .. homemade, and store-bought (on sale) too.
No store sells the kind of yummy bean soup mamma can make :upsidedown:
 

·
Leave Me Alone
Joined
·
434 Posts
It depends on what your plans are, bugging out or bugging in. Also if you have to temporarily evac for hurricance, chemical spills, etc. MRE's are mobile and have a long shelf life, but canned food is the way to go if you're staying put. We have both. We are in a rural, somewhat non-threatening area, so we have plenty of canned food, that we rotate and use, and supplement it with several cases of MRE's, dry bulk buckets, and Freeze dried food. Even though we also have a water well and a Burkey Water filter system, we have several 10 gallon water jugs to throw into the truck. You have to think things through and decide what you need. Only buy the canned food that you eat, so you will use it and replace it regularly.
By the way, your homemade MRE's are a good idea, as well as dehydrated veggies in bags. They may have a limited shelf life, but heck, you can rotate those out, by taking them for lunch at work every now and then.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top