Free & Cheap MRE Meals Guide

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MRE meals, or as they are also known, “meal, ready to eat,” are formulated by the military to sustain people in a state of disaster and are packed with the necessary nutrients to nourish you in times you need to survive. They are not supposed to be freely available outside of a time of crisis, but some companies offer them, either in sample form or otherwise.


The following 6 companies and organizations offer you a way to order ready-to-eat MRE meals, either from their websites or in person, in one form or another, but not for free are below.

Key Takeaways

  • MRE meals are ready to eat, some with their own heating capabilities inside the food package.
  • The packaging is strong and can resist harsh environments and weather conditions.
  • MRE meals provide vital nutrients; each meal contains 1,100 to 1,300 calories.
  • You can eat MRE meals warmed up or even cold if heating your meal is not an option at that time.
  • MRE meals have a shelf life of five years.
  • Though MRE meals are mainly formulated for emergencies and to be used in times of natural disaster, they are also a source of food for extended outdoor activities like military training.
  • Each MRE meal package is safe for the environment.
  • Some companies and organizations used to hand out free MRE meal samples, but this is no longer the case. The only way to get free MRE meals is in a state of disaster.

Where You Can Get MRE Meals

Several companies offer cheap MRE meals that you can order. Unfortunately, these are not free, but some are very affordable.

1. The Epicenter

You can find affordable MRE meals at The Epicenter, and not only in cases of emergency or a state of disaster. The meals that they offer are ready to eat with no preparation necessary. They offer a wide variety of pre-prepared meals that you can choose from.

There’s no need to store these MRE meals in the refrigerator, and if the circumstances require you to eat your meal cold, then it is safe to do so.


2. Amazon

You can find a massive variety of MRE meals on Amazon. Amazon is a viable option for purchasing MRE meals because Amazon Coupons can save you a fortune on your order. Though not necessarily free, it will be as close to free as possible.

Amazon offers some military surplus MRE meals that were developed more for use by the military than civilians, but there are some exceptions on Amazon as well.

3. Walmart

Walmart also sells MRE ration meals that are military-grade and designed explicitly for states of emergency and natural disasters. Not only that, but they have a wide range of MRE meals available that are ready to eat, so it’s perfect if you go camping and want an easy meal that provides the calories you need in a day or if you are preparing yourself for a disaster that is out of your control.

Walmart sells military-grade MRE meals to the public, both online and in-store, that meet all of the following requirements:

  • The meals provide 1,300 to 1,500 calories each.
  • MRE meals are already cooked and prepared for your convenience and can be eaten out of the packet.
  • All the meals are strictly tested and safe for human consumption.

4. SOS Survival Products

At SOS Products, you can purchase an individual MRE meal or an MRE Star case that includes 12 MRE meals. As with any other MRE meal, it provides you with all the nutrients you will need in times of survival.

With each individual meal, you will receive an entrée, a side dish, and a spread. This meal pack also includes a dessert, coffee, and beverage powder. However, these MRE meal options do not specify what your meal will be, which could discourage some people. But think of it as if it’s Christmas; you have a surprise waiting for you when you open the package.


5. Valley Food Storage

Valley Food Storage doesn’t offer free MRE meals; however, they offer a sample kit that includes three meals you can eat to test the products. One thing that you must consider, though, is that these are simply ready-to-eat meals, not the type of meals that are provided by the military.

Valley Food Storage offers emergency, easy-to-prepare meals that are GMO-free. Each meal contains a total of 650 calories, which is slightly below the military-grade standard. But these meals provide a shelf-life of up to 25 years, which is five times as much as other options on this list. The survival food sample includes meals like:

  • Irish Pub Cheddar Soup
  • Tomato Basil Soup
  • Enchilada Beans and Rice

They offer free shipping with your order of the survival food sample, making it easier for you to try it out and taste it for yourself.

6. Ready Store

Ready Store offers military MRE meals to private citizens. Their meals are supplied by the same companies that provide the MRE meals to the military. Though they aren’t exactly the same as military MRE meals, they are still sourced from the same company. The meals are also packaged in the same packaging, making them durable enough to handle almost any harsh conditions.

The meals are the perfect size to take on your next outdoor trip, and if you run into an unexpected emergency, you don’t need to panic because you will have prepared meals ready to eat. Though they are best served hot, you can eat them cold in extreme survival situations or if the circumstances demand this.

The MRE meals you purchase from Ready Store have an average 1,250 calorie count. Each meal has the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins required for a person to survive in whatever harsh environments you may find yourself in.

How Do MRE Meals Work?

As a civilian, you cannot buy MRE meals that are provided to the military. The US Government prohibits it. However, the demand for the same types of meals grew exponentially due to natural disasters and lockdowns. As a civilian, you can now order MRE meals from various stores that are often provided by the same companies that manufacture these meals for the military.


Are There Different Types Of MRE Meals?

There are different MRE meals available to both the military and the public. They can consist of entrées, full meals, snacks, and drinks. As the world changed over the years, so did the research and development of MRE meals. They are no longer the bland and tasteless meals from military ration packs like they were in previous years.

How Long Can You Store MRE Meals?

Most MRE meals can be stored for up to five years. Though these packages do not have a best before date on them, the meals can lose substantial amounts of their nutrients and vitamins after five years. It’s crucial to note, though, that the shelf-life of five years is only valid if you store the meals at temperatures of 75OF or below.

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