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Homemade Meals Ready To Eat

Buying freeze-dried or vacuum-packed prepared food from one of the big box stores or online could be very costly, especially for a family. I was wondering could making homemade survival food would be a better option.

It turns out that many preppers are now making their own meals to add to their bug-out bags – which would be a 72-hour supply of food. Some preppers even add this homemade food to their emergency food supply within their home or bug-out location.

Homemade Survival Food


Making and putting together your own MREs (meals ready to eat) can save you some cash, and you can also customize them to your own liking. Using a vacuum sealer machine for longer-term storage, you can save tons of space. It also allows the food to stay fresh much longer!

What Are Meals Ready To Eat?

The Meal Ready-to-Eat – commonly known as the MRE – is a self-contained, individual field ration in lightweight packaging bought by the United States military for its service members for use in combat or other field conditions where organized food facilities are unavailable. They can also be heated on a flameless heater if they are needed to be.

Because of the importance of a hot meal, all military MREs come packaged with a flameless heater. The flameless heater uses a simple chemical reaction to provide sufficient heat to warm the food.

The idea behind a flameless heater is to use the oxidation of the metal to generate heat.  Add some water, and within seconds the flameless heater reaches the boiling point, bubbling and steaming. To heat the meal, the soldier inserts the heater and the MRE pouch back in the box that the pouch came in. Warm food in minutes.

We are not going completely down that road. Most of us will not have access to a flameless heater, but we can gather up or create some homemade survival food that will not need to be heated.

Survival Food Tips

It is important to remember that adults should consume 2500-3000 calories daily, especially if they’re in an ‘on the go’ type of survival situation. So, make note of the caloric value of each MRE x’s the number of people that will require access to them.

Try to fit an entire day’s worth of food in each homemade MRE. Choose foods that are lightweight and have a decent shelf life. To save room, certain food items can be removed from their original packaging, such as crackers in large packages, and sealed using vacuum sealer bags.

And do not forget to pack the accessories: such as spoons, knives, forks, matches, powdered creamer, sugar, salt, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.

Also, do not forget Multi-Vitamins and over-the-counter pain medicines. All of these items can be purchased in individual packets.

Homemade Survival Food Choices

Here is a list of possible food items you can include in each homemade ‘MRE’


Cereal, granola, or protein bars start the day to give you that extra boost that is much needed in the morning.

Breakfast Survival Foods

Dried Fruit – Such as raisins, cranberries, apricots, dates, and prunes. All kinds of nuts. They come in individual boxes and bags, but you can vacuum seal them instead to save room.

Coffee – You can buy instant coffee mixes in individual pouches or you can make your own potches with zip-lock bags. And if you use or need them, don’t forget about the creamer and sugar; they also are available in individual packets.


Tuna – Starkist® now has tuna pouches, which are individual servings and great space savers. If you’re not fond of seafood, chicken also comes in this same type of packaging.

Crackers – The choices are endless here, but any crackers would work. They can be vacuum sealed as individual servings.

Drink – you can buy most drinks, such as lemonade and Gatorade, in individual serving packets.

An Afternoon Snack:

If you’re on the go, do not forget about snacks as homemade survival foods. A snack between lunch and dinner is important. Keeping your energy and sugar levels up will help you tremendously. Here are some great examples.

Peanut M&M’s, Trail Mix, Energy/Protein Bars, Raisins, Beef Jerky


Hormel ‘Compleats’ Entrees® – These easy-to-use, complete entrees come well-sealed and are pre-cooked, so they can be eaten warmed up or cold (if you do not have a way to heat them).

Another plus is they do not need refrigeration. They now also have breakfast meal choices. These, too, can be removed from their cardboard packaging to save room in your homemade survival food bag.

Ramen Noodles – This is another great main entree choice. They come in several flavors and are inexpensive, so buying ramen noodles in bulk will not break your wallet.

Crackers – Any cracker you prefer will do of course. They can be vacuum sealed for individual servings. Hardtack is another great option. It’s a hard-bread or biscuit type that would go great with ramen noodle soup. Hardtack will last forever – great shelf life!

Drink – As with your lunch, include an individual serving packet of your favorite drink mix.

Also consider adding some chicken or beef bouillon cubes – They can be used to make broth or add extra flavor to meals. Include 3-4 cubes per MRE.

Long Term Food Storage Containers

These are not necessarily used to be added to your bug-out bag because they can be rather bulky and have packing limitations.

However, I added them to this list of ideas to give you another one…..have these homemade survival food ideas ready to go long before you might need them. These types of foods will stay fresh for a long time when stored correctly.

If you are in a situation where you have to leave your home immediately, you are not going to have anywhere near the time to prepare your MRE menu properly. With a fire or floodwaters minutes from your homestead, what will you and your family eat tomorrow after you just bugged out of your home to save yourselves?

Do you think McDonald’s is going to be open?

Prep, Preserve, Prosper: A Homemade Survival Feast

There’s a special kind of pride in turning your kitchen into a survival sanctuary. Your next mission?

Try that easy-to-make dehydrated fruit recipe, a tasty start to your homemade stash. Just think, with every jar you seal, you’re stepping closer to self-sufficiency, nurturing not just your body but also your spirit.

Times can get unpredictable, but armed with know-how, grit, and a pinch of creativity, you’re set to face any food challenge head-on. Eager to bolster your pantry prowess? Dive deeper into the world of preservation, share your homemade hacks, and let’s champion self-reliance, one delicious bite at a time.

Ready to get cooking? 🥘🌾

Do yourself a favor and consider this emergency preparedness solution before it is too late.

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