I'm gonna be showing you a way to store meals at a fraction of the cost of commercial or even surplus MRE cost....

Your average MRE will run you between 5 and 8 bucks....My MREs cost under 3 dollars each, and are customized to my taste....

Step 1: Shopping List...

***Step 1...gather your fixins....anything that can be eaten either raw or cooked, using ONLY water...nothing requiring refrigeration or milk, butter, etc...

*packaged snack crackers....PB on wheat, cheezy, etc., etc...
*bagged/canned tuna, chicken, spam, sardines....whatever meat you prefer....
*packaged instant rice and potatoes...
*instant drink mixes...coffee, crystal light, whatever.....
*tea bags....
*bullion cubes.....
*ramen noodles...
*single servings of salt, pepper, sweetener, or whatever your taste....
*granola/cereal bars...
*candy bars...
*instant oatmeal packets....
*dried fruit...
yadah, yaddah, yaddah....
Now this, this is cool. <br> <br>Thanks for sharing, I am interested in wild camping/hiking prepping and this is right up my street, thanks mate.
I do my prep bags in a similar way. I live in northern Indiana so I swap things out between winter (hand/feet warmers, dry socks, hot chocolate) and summer (instant cold packs, extra water). Thanks for showing us your MREs.
Nicely done mate. Great info. I'm very much into preparedness and I think this is s great bit of kit. Cheers
<p>No-one has mentioned this, but the same process can be used for meal-specific menus, ie: a breakfast-only ration, or a poor-man's LRPR (Long Range Patrol Ration). If you want to get creative, visit your local Chinese, Hmong, or Thai market and make a version of the 'Nam issue PIR (Patrolling, Indigenous Ration). These consisted of rice, noodles, dried fish and shrimp, various curries, soy sauce and/or nuoc mam (fish sauce), dried mushrooms, dried sausages, and dried vegetables.</p>
What a great idea...best input on the subject I've heard so far.
<p>False economy. Others are $$$ for a reason. They will last 25 years. Also it is extremely important to watch ingredients and labels. You don't want all those preservatives and sodium! It will increase your need for water, which will in all likelihood be in short supply due to weight. If you're bugging out you shouldn't need a lot of the $7 meals - maybe 10-12 per person AT MOST, could be less. The difference for that small amount is a couple boxes of ammo. You SHOULD have had the good stuff (raw ingredients) squirreled away at your BOL or at home (bug-in) for preparation there. The meals should just really be for camping, or on the move and under duress until you can forage, hunt, and/or cook the raw ingredients you hopefully have. Lot of people want ready-made/convenient survival. Doesn't work that way.</p>
<p>In the author's defense, they didn't write this tutorial with bugging out in mind, although many preppers have read this article through prepping blogs or site. The author never mentions survival, we can assume these MREs are meant for more mundane purposes such as hiking.</p>
<p>Before posting this, you should've known that MRE means Meal <strong>Ready to Eat</strong>, which means that whenever you unpack one, you should be able to eat its contents without the need of cooking the food.</p>
<p>I just keep these in my bag with a couple packets of mayo and make single serve tuna salad simple, easy and they take up far less space than an MRE</p>
<p>$60 for a bunch of tuna and spam?</p>
Is there a way to vacumseal water and make DIY water packets sorry for spelling
<p>Just a question because I'm new to this and want to start making these. Do you have to pierce all packs of food before vacuum sealing? Mainly I'm asking about if you have to pierce the single serve coffee pouches, and the single serve you mix for 16 oz bottles of water and also granola bars</p>
<p>NO! Do not do that. I realize that this person is using all dry goods, but do not do this. I like to pack wet single serving packets of tuna, salmon, chicken, etc and if punctured it will cause your entire MRE to spoil. If you poked a hole in a packet of crystal light or ramen noodles, the space saved will be little to none. </p>
<p>Will the Raman noodles stay good for 3 years. And do you know the shelf life of them and the wet single serving tuna?</p>
<p>read the good to - on the packs before you buy them, then mark the shortest on on the outside of your vacumn bag, that will be your best way, but most dry foods will keep for several years past their best used before date.</p>
I would...it helps to compact size, reduce ambient moisture, and limit oxygen exposure in pretty much every dry food package I've used so far...
<p>Thanks..I'm getting mixed opinions on this but I guess the point of this is for trial and error. my main concern is the shelf life of these. Because I do know some of the food doesn't have real good shelf life before you put it in and seal it. Have you tried any after 3 years. I guess I need a list of things you actually NEED to pierce before sealing.</p>
<p>Real commercial MRE 's are freeze dried meals that have a 20-25 year shelf life freeze drying and packaging is expensive thats why they cost so much also they are rated for protien and calories you buy them once and your good for 25 years no rotating food or worrying about experation dates&quot; just saying &quot; they're a little more expensive but you do it once and forget about it til disaster strikes also most real mre's have a fuel source in the package just add water yours are cool too but the other has a much loinger shelf life </p>
<p>great idea! got myself a food saver. Going to try this out. The part about the water is no biggy, I have two life saver jerry cans that can filter out viruses go to the nearest lake, pond stream whatever and you have cleaner water than tap. </p>
Awesome! I love it. Easy prep for lots of situations. Easy to work into or spread out over several weeks of grocery budget.
nice. i just whipped out a few of these for my storage. each one is a full days worth of food.
<p>I actually got a few of the little can burners from the dollar store for some of my MREs that I want to heat water or such. for a dollar, ya cant beat it!</p>
<p>HI! I'm an emergency preparedness trainer, and outdoor survival enthusiast, and I wanted to offer up my take on your post. </p><p>First, let me say: Thank you for taking the time to make a post. A lot of people on this thread have complained about what you have done, but I haven't seen a single one of them make their own version of an MRE. This was a good post. You are still only one of TWO people who have bothered to post a homemade MRE on this site! Even if people don't follow your idea EXACTLY, your post will at least give them a starting point to work off of. That's a big deal. Thank you for that!</p><p>Second: Food choices. If you wanted to put together some meals to toss in a bag while you go on an overnight camping trip, or a short day hike, and you don't mind taking along extra water and cooking supplies, these might not be too bad. I have known A LOT of students and fellow survival enthusiasts who toss Ramen in their bags before heading out. Ramen is easy to go to, because of its low cost, but it's low cost for a reason. It has almost zero nutritional value, except high salt content. I personally avoid foods like Ramen in the field, because if not properly balanced, it can become a nutrition vacuum. </p><p>Next: As many people have pointed out, most of what is being packaged needs to be cooked before it can be consumed, which negates the whole idea of an &quot;emergency ration&quot;. As far as prepackaged, emergency, ready to eat, self sustaining meals go, these really are not ideal. The nutritional balance is pretty far off, weighing heavily on high-salt and empty calorie foods (like Top Ramen). Substituting a pre-cooked, ready to eat entree for the Ramen and other dehydrated foods listed will resolve most of that issue. For example, Hormel Completes cost ~$2.00 per meal, can be eaten right from the box, require no cooking, and have a shelf life of about 2 years. It would also up the calorie count and add much needed protein to the meal. Here's one for reference (Beef Steak Tips): <a href="http://tinyurl.com/okf4aw9" rel="nofollow">http://tinyurl.com/okf4aw9 </a> (Scrambled Eggs): <a href="http://tinyurl.com/mcc9sdz" rel="nofollow">http://tinyurl.com/mcc9sdz </a> </p><p>Also: I have studied survival and (specifically) survival food choices, all over the world, from the Sherpa of Nepal to the Navajo Indians of the American Southwest. Every single time, the decision on what to pack comes down to high calorie, high protein, easy to eat on the go food that requires almost zero preparation. The Sherpa, for example use the simple Snickers bar as their go-to food item when packing for a trek up the Himalayas. I've watched them walk into a store and buy 2, 3, 4, or more CASES to pack up. They'll eat 20 a day to keep their energy up. Protein, high calorie, easy to eat. Food for thought (HAH!).</p><p>Finally: Like I said before, thank you for your post. Your investment of time, money, and energy in making it is commendable, and worthy of a hearty bit of gratitude. </p><p>P.S. In writing this post, I have also come to the realization (as I am sure you have too, by reading it) that I have also made a lot of comments, but haven't posted my own how-to on MREs. Maybe I will, maybe I won't, we'll see. At any rate, keep up the good work, and don't let the comments thread prevent you from continuing to post. </p><p>CHEERS!</p>
<p>People are so nit picky! Let their asses starve! Great idea! Good to make extras for barter and trade for stuff you might need! When in a SHTF situation !</p>
<p>I would totally make that! I call Mine E.a.T. Rations( Edible and Tolerable Rations). There is nothing i could think of to add to make this better</p>
<p>well. . . .when the SHTF I would be happy to eat anything. Yes all of us understand that stuff needs water to work and I'm sure all of us even looking at this have or know how to clean and purify water. . .and. . . Any buckets o food that we buy or use or plan to buy is dehydrated and needs water anyways, of course mre's do not, which I do have, but compared to buckets o food they are expensive, full of the same calorie crap in all the other buckets o food. So . . . . . When doomsday hits, and I'm in my secret cabin hiding anyway on my desolate property, is anybody, and that means anybody going to give a shite Muslim what I'm eating? </p>
<p>Just to clear the air: Everyone arguing about what these things are called, or what foods they contain...get over yourselves. I packed MY food, and I'll call them &quot;Dead Kitten Machine Gun Meals&quot; if I like, and stuff them with gravy, rock salt and aborted fetuses.</p><p>I don't care if you agree or disagree (nor does anyone else, really)...</p><p>If your mileage varies, nobody really cares...seriously, move on...someone else will have your next bottle ready just as soon as you get a new diaper and put your toys away for Mommy...</p>
<p>My critique was to help people assess the contents of a MRE and find something with nutritional content that was heavier on the vegetables and protein. and leave the starch alone. Maybe add a small can of fruits to balance out the meal.</p><p>All I did was point out the flaws of eating a starch heavy foods for <br>extended periods of time. Mood swings and irritability. With your <br>outbursts, you have proven my point. Twice.</p>
Get. A. Life.
You're awesome, Dude.
<p>I really found your post to be counter productive and overall disastrous to anyone who would follow your suggestions here.</p><p>First off, your &quot;Meal Ready to Eat&quot; isn't ready at all. A real MRE requires no preparation where yours does. </p><p>Secondly, Your Entree's are really unhealthy as they are far too starchy for any short term or long term benefits. Eating the instant potatoes, packaged side dishes and especially the ramen would be really unhealthy. They are dehydrated so they require lots of water to be prepared for consumption. Eating them raw will mean that the water required for digestion will come from the body itself which will lead to dehydration which is disastrous to a prepper/survivalist or anyone who is bugging out or just facing a crisis situation. </p><p>Third, a diet which is starch heavy causes severe blood sugar fluctuations and constipation. Constipation is one thing but the blood sugar fluctuations result in headaches, dizziness, irritability and mood swings. None of which are beneficial to a survivalist or anyone for that matter as it interferes with thinking. The idea of a Meal Ready to Eat is to have a fairly nutritious meal is a escape/disaster situation and maintain energy until a person can reach their destination or until help arrives. Also, MRE's are supposed to maintain health where your idea of a nutritious meal would only add to health problems. Namely dehydration.</p><p>I also wonder why you would vacuum seal a can of tuna fish and chicken chunks. Everything else is sealed so putting everything in a vacuum sealed bag is not only redundant, but wasteful. A large ziploc bag would be better which can be used as a releasable storage container where a vacuum sealed bag can not be resealed in the field. It may look better but again, it is counter productive.</p><p>In trying to be clever, you only outsmarted yourself and unfortunately, you have given some real bad advice to other people. </p><p>Seriously, I keep 5 cans of stew and &quot;Chunky&quot; style soup in my vehicle along with several small cans of different fruit along with multi vitamins, energy bars and 3 actual MRE's so I have meals on the road for ANY situation. Along with what I keep in my bugout bag, I can do without food resupply for 12 days. Water supply is another thing altogether but I carry a water filter in my bugout bag and I am familiar with natural springs in my area and along my escape routes.</p>
Great, Guy...your plans are different. And you seem to have a decent perceptive..<br><br>Constructive criticism is awesome. You, however sound like a 12 year old wannabe who's just discovered the world AND the definition of 'semantic'. Try again with a bit o' respect...
And you obviously cannot take criticism. Your good ideas are no match for real world experience. Eat that with your dry ramen.
<p>MRE stands for &quot;Meals Rejected by the Enemy&quot;. That's why I want 2 make my own. These are great guidelines. I like to canoe camp so keeping the food dry is an issue. Kids don't try it at home. Actually do try it @ home so you know it works..</p>
<p>or &quot;My Rations Eitherway </p>
<p>or &quot;My Rations for Energy&quot;</p>
<p>Great ideas, thank you for sharing. &amp; for the ones bickering over the post title, well then think of it as Meal Rations for Emergencies (MRE). LOL the point here is the ideas, &amp; good ideas they are. Keep up the good work HTWTUSA &amp; keep the ideas coming.</p>
<p>Oh the sodium! This is an awesome idea, however I would be so sick if I ate this food for 1 day let alone 3. I'll stick with all homemade stuff.</p>
MRE stands for Meals Ready to Eat. Is there cooking involved in this food? Yes. While I like this idea, the terminology or name is incorrect. These are not MREs. These are maybe 72 hour food kits? This idea has been going around the internet and innapropriately called MREs. Having these food kits ready for emergency purposes, preps, or for quick go kits will be very handy. However, they will involve cooking as they are not ready to eat.
These ARE ready to eat. Everything is. Does all this taste good raw? not exactly...
Nicely done. I would suggest people total up the calories of each pack and plan in accordance with your needs. Camping &amp; waiting for help is going to be lower calorie requirements than say hiking to safety / find help. I think the commercial meals have higher calorie foods for that reason.
MRE's... &quot;Meals Ready for Emergencies&quot; <br> <br>Now y'all whiners quit splittin hairs and thank this great guy for educating you! <br> <br>I'm getting started on some of these for sure. <br> <br>Stay young and be prepared! <br> <br>
Nice Job!
Great instructable. I'm gonna go try this!
Great post
It is not viola, It's Voil&agrave; ;-)
Excellent packs and instructable, I have no idea what folk are complaining about, I guess the only 'ready to eat' they are capable of dealing with is via drive thru at the golden arches. Yes in a survival situation you will actually have to 'do' something in order to eat, and if cooking noodles is too hard? then I'm afraid you are doomed.

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