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How To Make a Homemade MRE

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Homemade MRE? What’s that?

That’s what I first said when I heard those words.

MRE stands for ‘meal ready to eat’.

We generally associate an MRE with a military meal that looks like this:

Standard military MRE
Standard MRE

These meals come with a variety of items including a main meal, a dessert, accessories, drink mixes, sides, etc. And they can last anywhere from 2-20 years.

You can easily make your own ‘meal ready to eat’ that can last anywhere from 2-5 years, or more, depending on what you put inside.

The great thing about making your own MRE is that you can pick and choose exactly what goes into it. When you make your own, I would suggest adding ready to eat items that don’t take any heating. Most standard military MRE’s would come with a heater and while you can buy those heaters and use them for a variety of purposes, it’s generally easier to simply have ready to eat items that require no heating.

Here are some ideas on what can go inside of a homemade MRE:

  1. Tuna/Salmon/Chicken Creations
  2. Granola bars
  3. Protein/energy bars
  4. Peanut butter bars
  5. Chips
  6. Gold fish
  7. Fruit snacks
  8. Pace Ready Meals (though it tastes better warm, it can be eaten cold)
  9. Compleats Meals (lasts a couple years after expiration)
  10. Coffee
  11. Tea
  12. Utensils
  13. Napkins
  14. Hard candy
  15. Mint
  16. Gum
  17. Individual spam packets
  18. Condiment packets
  19. Wet wipes
  20. Seasonings
  21. Cracker packets
  22. Dehydrated foods
  23. Individual packets of drink mixes such as gatorade or lemonade

Now that we have some examples of what could go into a homemade MRE, let’s give an example of what a homemade MRE might look like:

  • Tuna Creations packet
  • Compleats meal
  • Protein bar
  • Cracker packet
  • Caffeine gum
  • Dehydrated apples
  • Mayonnaise packet (for the tuna packet)
  • Utensils
  • Napkins
  • Gatorade powder packet

That looks like a solid meal to me with the possibility of some leftover to carry with you.

You can vacuum seal all of this together or you can place it inside of a ziploc bag. Personally, I prefer to place it in a ziploc bag because I can open and close the bag whenever and I can also use the bag for more than one thing. I can also keep whatever items I don’t eat (along with the trash) right there in the ziploc and just close it back up. Once a vacuum sealed bag is opened, unless you have a way to close it again, it’s difficult to close back up in order to reuse it.

Each meal that you put together would ideally be for just one person, but you can make it for more than one person if you so choose.

One last tip: write the date in which you made the meal on the outside of the bag. If you plan to use this as long term food storage, I’d check it every couple of years to make sure everything is okay and trade out anything that may have expired.

Now it’s time to make your own!

Experiment with different foods and have fun!

Conquer Tomorrow by Preparing Today

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Morgan is the founder of 'Rogue Preparedness' (formerly 'Armed Rogue'). She has been a prepper for about a decade. She is constantly mastering new skills and techniques and then passing on that knowledge. It is her hope to reach as many people as possible to help them get prepared for emergencies and disasters.

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  1. Jen Czerwin August 7, 2019

    Great! The best shtf item I have is 3 electric bikes from motorcityebikes and a few yeti solar panels. 300 watt folding panel suitcase! I am totally ready! But this helps me with the food collection!!! Ty!

    1. Morgan August 8, 2019

      Enjoy making your own MRE.

  2. Shelly May 29, 2019

    You can vacuum seal a ziplock bag into your MRE packet then once open use the ziplock. This will give you a longer storage time for the sealed MRE.

    1. Morgan May 29, 2019

      Hi Shelly. You can do that if you wish. Thanks.


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