Be Creative – Make Your Own MREs!


The Early Days

I remember having Combat Rations (C- Rations) during field training.

The small green cans needed to be opened with my P-38 can opener, and some meals also included green foil packages. Then came the MREs (Meals-Ready-to Eat). There was a menu improvement, but not much, at least to me.

They were ok in taste; honestly, I preferred the kitchen tent, but sometimes the only food available was the famous brown box.

Since the introduction of the MREs in 1983, MREs have been available for civilians during disasters and later available to anyone through military surplus stores.

As you probably already know, MREs prices are skyrocketing high. Also, since the war in Ukraine, they are in high demand and on back-order in many online stores. If you own a vacuum sealer machine, you can make MREs at home, as many as you need, and save a lot of money.

Vacuum seal MREs will last longer than any other homemade container meal because you take all the air from the bag. Remember that oxygen is the number one reason for food to spoil. Oxygen is an oxidant. Therefore, I strongly recommend adding an oxygen absorbent bag to ensure no oxygen trap between your MREs.

So What Can I Choose?

Choose products with high protein and of good quality. Make sure to pack one complete meal per MRE. A meal consists (from my days in the Army with the C-rations) of:

  • One protein meal – soup, tuna, chicken, beef, etc.
  • One side dish – pasta, rice, crackers, beans, vegetables, etc.
  • One small dessert – dehydrated fruits, cocoa powder, protein bar, etc.
  • A candy for later – a peanut bar (munch), chocolate bar, hard fruity candy, gum, etc.

Candy bars packed in their original mylar bags should last longer than other wrapped candies.

Candies play an essential part when surviving since they can give a sense of relaxation, especially chocolate.

You can also make MREs for breakfast; just replace the meat protein with a breakfast protein or carbs, such as:

  • Powdered egg, instant oatmeal, etc. 

 I recommend the original, not the flavored ones. You can replace the sugar with monkfruit sugar if you have diabetes.

Use your imagination on the variety of food items you would like to have as a menu for your MREs. They have almost no limits but remember that the number one rule when choosing food is LONG-TERM. It means, whatever food you choose, make sure it can be used for long-term storage.

The Vacuum Sealers

Vacuum sealers are so convenient, and for the preppers, they have many uses. 

Click on the picture down below for different brands and models.

Vacuum Sealer Machines

Vacuum Sealer Bags

Food Saver Brand and Attachments

Monk Fruit Sweetener

One last thing, NEVER FORGET that this is survival food. The food you choose may not taste like home cooking, but it WILL KEEP YOU ALIVE. Don’t try to watch for low calories count; you need those calories in an emergency situation. Always keep your salt and pepper handy…just in case!

Always Prepared

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