There are plenty of places you can buy MRE online, with some products priced more reasonably than others.
Of course, stocking up on non-perishable food is important in overcoming an emergency.
And MREs are not only among the best, longest-lasting, and nutritious survival foods available, but they’re also one of the tastiest.
You can buy a single MRE packet for up to $12 per portion, which is an expensive meal.
And it’s a cost that soon adds up, especially if you’re stockpiling for the long-term.
So below are some of the more reasonably priced options out there.
We’ll look at a couple of offline alternatives, too, but just for comparison sake.
Buying MREs online is still your best bet.
eBay vs Amazon
eBay sellers don’t tend to offer free shipping, which means that the cost of your crate adds up.
With Amazon, you get free shipping, which is a big advantage with these huge, heavy boxes.
Furthermore, when you see the cost of your MRE double at the checkout, it isn’t a great feeling.
That can happen when buying on eBay, but not on Amazon.
A dollar here or there aside, however, the cost of MRE on the two sites tend to be similar.
But Amazon provides a safer shopping experience due to its free return policy.
Overall, Amazon is easily the preferred choice over eBay.
Civilian MRE Sales
With regards to Civilian MRE manufacturers, there was, at one time, a small number of firms running decent MRE sales.
But lately, they’ve been more expensive than the military boxes available on Amazon.
MREs at Gun Shows
You can find reasonably priced MREs at gun shows.
There’s a catch, however.
You don’t know where they’ve been stored prior to them being displayed at the show.
The shelf life of MREs degrades when stored in high temperatures.
And you wouldn’t want to eat expired MREs. If you were to buy an MRE at a gun show, you should only buy from a seller you trust.
Bear in mind, too, that the cost won’t always be as low as you might think.
Typically, you’ll find the same ones listed at around the same price on Amazon or eBay.
So unless you’re averse from buying online, you may as well buy one from one of the two e-commerce giants.
Military Base Commissary MREs
There have been claims that cheap MREs can be found at a military base commissary.
They aren’t always as cheap as some other boxes you see online, however.
The reason for that is that the military spends big on a single case of MREs, and they won’t sell it for less than that unless absolutely necessary.
So, contrary to what you might read, you won’t be able to buy cheap MREs at the commissary.
Military MREs vs Civilian MREs
U.S. Military MREs are the best for both quality and cost-effectiveness.
They include flameless heaters, and typically taste better than civilian MREs.
The issue with U.S. Military MREs, however, is that their commercial sale is restricted, in order to prevent people from making bulk purchases and reselling them for profit.
You also don’t know their storage history.
They could have been lying in the desert for months before going on sale, reducing their shelf life by the time they find their way into consumers’ hands.
Another downside is that no-one takes responsibility for the sale of a bad batch.
While pricier, two big advantages with civilian MREs are that they’re easier to find and offer a guarantee that the box will last for as long as is promised.
Some civilian boxes don’t include flameless MRE heaters, which is how they keep costs down.
But as it saves you money, that isn’t a bad thing.
All you’d need to do would be to buy a basic propane camping stove, which you may well have, anyway, and you’d be fine.
Simply boil water and heat your MREs. Furthermore, while MRE heaters are convenient, they aren’t necessary for many situations, and there are numerous other ways to heat MREs.
MREs typically provide 1,200 calories per individual packet.
That’s important, as you can get by on one of these packets per day for pretty much the rest of your life.
You’d want more, but you’d survive. Some companies, however, sell MREs to reduce calories to cut costs.
That’s something you’ll want to avoid, Basically, if the deal is too good to be true, assume that’s the case.
There are some exceptions, such as 72hours.ca where you can buy a civilian MRE to military standard, packed full of calories, and some even include heaters.
If you think there may be secret prepper stores lurking somewhere in the underground of the Internet, or a low-key army shop selling discounted MREs, you’d be wrong.
Gun shows are an option, but it takes some digging around, and you’re never quite sure of how much shelf life they have remaining.
The best bet is to put your trust in a reliable online retailer that offers a quality calorie-packed product with a guarantee to put your mind (and your stomach) at ease.