First off – let me say that what I am about to describe does not replace a military-type MRE. Military MRE’s are superior to “home made” MRE’s in many ways.
For those on a budget – there is an alternative to military MRE’s – and they are sitting on your local grocery store shelf. They are called Hormel Compleats Meals.
Hormel Compleats are a tub-packed fully cooked food item. They can be eaten directly from the package cold or they can be heated. Typical method for heating is the microwave oven. They can also be heated via boiling water. At around $2.00 each – many can be stocked for little money.
These pre-packed meals average around 300 calories each- so they lag behind military MRE’s by quite a bit. Being able to fully satisfy one’s caloric intake during a TSHTF events is important – however these meals do not contain a huge amount of energy. When TSHTF, it’s important to keep in perspective that grocery stores will quickly run out of stock and without electricity refrigerated foods with also quickly expire.
These Compleats meals have an expiration date printed on the packaging. Typically I find freshly-stocked product to have an expiration date of around 2 years out. This is something else that military MRE’s have an advantage – longer shelf life.
As far as taste – I love ’em. I recommend the Chicken Breast with Mashed Potatoes and Turkey with Stuffing. Those 2 are my favorite.
Here is a list of current offerings from Hormel for the Compleats meals:
- Beef Steak & Peppers with Noodles
- Cheese Manicotti
- Chili with Beans
- Grilled Chix & Pasta
- Pasta Primavera w/ Chicken
- Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs
- Spicy Italian Sausage & Pasta
- Spinach & Cheese Ravioli
- Homestyle Beef with Potatoes and Gravy
- Santa Fe Style Chicken with Beans and Rice
- Sesame Chicken with Vegetables and Pasta
- Chicken & Dumplings
- Chicken Breast & Dressing
- Chicken & Noodles
- Chicken & Rice
- Chicken Alfredo
- Chicken Breast & Gravy with Mashed Potatoes
- Teriyaki Chicken with Rice
- Chicken Marinara
- Roasted Turkey & Veg w/Rice
- Turkey & Dressing with Gravy
- Turkey & Hearty Vegetables
- Swedish Meatballs
- Lasagna with Meat Sauce
- Meatloaf with Potatoes & Gravy
- Beef Steak Tips
- Beef Pot Roast with Potatoes & Carrots in Gravy
- Salisbury Steak with Sliced Potatoes & Gravy
- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- plus more!!
To make a homemade MRE – take one of these meals – add some candy, salt/pepper packets, snack/nutrition bar, couple packs of crackers, Gatorade packet, chewing gum, pack of matches, napkin, and a plastic spoon. Vacuum pack everything together – and you have a Homemade MRE.
These meals have their place in a survival food storage system. They can be especially useful for use in your bug out supplies.
Give ’em a try.
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