An MRE (Meal, Ready to Eat) is a self-contained meal packet used by U.S. military service members during field missions and active combat. MREs are packed full of energy and nutrients. They don’t require any type of cooking. You just open the packet and enjoy. MREs are now available to civilians and each packet contains around 1200 calories. They have a 3-year minimum shelf life, however, they can last much longer under nonextreme storage conditions.

Some of the most popular MRE are chili with beans, beef taco, beef stew, pork rib, maple sausage, chicken pesto pasta, chicken chunks, beef brisket, spaghetti with meat sauce, lemon pepper tuna and shredded BBQ beef. After leaving the military, many people still occasionally buy MREs because they miss the taste.


MREs are perfect for those planning a camping trip. When you buy the packets that contain a flameless ration heater, you will no longer have to light a campfire or bring a camping stove with you in order to enjoy a hot meal in the wilderness. What’s more, since MRE packets were designed for the military, the packets are very lightweight. In addition, unlike with dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, MREs do not require any clean water. They are ready to eat.

Home Emergency Preparation

More and more people are now starting to prep for an emergency. After all, nobody can predict the future. It might be scary to think about, but natural disaster could strike at any time. It is now not that uncommon for families to have up to a year’s supply of food stashed away in case of an emergency. One of the features that make MRE packets perfect for emergency prep is that they have very long expiry dates. What’s more, even after the expiry date has passed the packets are still safe to eat; they just might not taste as nice. You can extend MRE shelf life by storing the meals in a dry, cool environment.

Save Money

In order to save money when buying MREs, you should always buy in bulk. In addition, if you are not a fussy eater, you can save money by stocking up on some of the most unpopular meals. Online stockists are likely to be much cheaper, as they have fewer overheads. You could also check out online auction sites like eBay for some bargain discontinued MREs. Opting for packets without a flameless ration heater can also help you to get the unit price down.


If you are not sure which MRE meals you will like, the best thing to do is to buy a selection box so you can try every one before you buy in bulk. You can also check out online reviews and ratings from people who have already tried the meals. Obviously, everyone’s taste buds are different, so just because one type of meals has been rated 1-star by a previous customer does not necessarily mean that you won’t find it delicious.

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