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Where to Get MRE Meals: Everything You Need to Know

MREs, or “meals ready to eat,” are pre-packaged meals used by the U.S. military and other emergency responders around the world. Commercially available MREs provide consumers with a convenient way to enjoy the same nutrition provided to service members.

This article will discuss the different options for buying MRE meals, as well as some of the benefits to using these products. By the end of this article, you'll have all the information you need to make an informed decision about where to get MRE meals.

What Are MRE Meals?

MRE meals are self-contained meals designed to meet the nutritional needs of soldiers in combat. Most MREs contain one entree, a side dish, crackers, snacks, and a desert – all sealed in airtight packages that can be stored at room temperature for up to five years. They are also lightweight and relatively convenient to transport.

In addition to providing a good source of nutrition, MREs are known for their portability, making them perfect for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. They are also good for storing in case of emergencies, such as natural disasters or pandemics.

Types of MRE Meals

MRE meals come in a variety of flavors and types, including vegetarian and vegan options. The most popular MREs include beef stew, chili mac, lasagna, and spaghetti. Each type contains high-quality ingredients and is complete with a dessert item. Additionally, many companies offer gluten-free and low-calorie options.

Main Entrees: Main entrees typically contain between 200 and 400 calories and consist of either a main protein (beef, chicken, fish) or a vegetarian option like beans. Many brands offer multiple entrees per package, so it's easy to switch things up.

Side Dishes: Side dishes are usually made from grains (rice, potatoes), vegetables, or fruit. Some brands even offer sides that include pasta, cheese, or eggs. These items add extra nutrients and flavor to the meal.

Snacks: Snacks are included in most MRE meals and are typically either sweet (candy, cookies) or savory (crackers, nuts). Depending on the brand, snacks can range from light and healthy to indulgent.

Desserts: Desserts are usually small and sweet, ranging from pound cake to brownies. As with the main entrees, some brands offer multiple desserts in a single package.

Where to Buy MRE Meals

MRE meals are widely available online and in stores. Popular retailers include Walmart, Amazon, Target, and sports stores. Prices vary depending on the brand and size of the package.

  • Online Retailers: Online retailers often offer discounts and free shipping on orders over a certain amount. Be sure to read reviews before purchasing MREs to ensure quality and freshness.
  • Army Surplus Stores: Army surplus stores carry authentic MREs that have been used by the military. These are usually sold in cases of 12 or more and can cost less than commercial MREs.
  • Outdoor Supply Stores: Outdoor supply stores often carry MREs specifically designed for camping and backpacking. These are usually lightweight and come in smaller amounts. Prices can vary significantly depending on the store and brand.

When shopping for MREs, look for products that are certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This certificate ensures that the product meets strict standards for safety and quality. Additionally, avoid purchasing second-hand MREs, as they may not meet safety requirements.

Benefits of Using MREs


MREs are incredibly convenient. Unlike traditional food storage methods, which require refrigeration, MREs can be stored at room temperature for up to five years without spoiling. This makes them perfect for storing in case of emergencies.


MREs are nutritionally balanced and provide a good source of energy and protein. They are fortified with vitamins and minerals and contain no trans fats or artificial flavors.


MREs are lightweight and easy to transport. They are ideal for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities, as well as for keeping in a bug-out bag or car trunk in case of emergencies.


MREs can be eaten cold out of the package or heated up with an MRE heater. Heaters are small, disposable devices that can be used to quickly heat up meals in water.

MRE meals are a convenient and nutritious option for those looking for an easy meal on-the-go. With a variety of flavors and types available, there's something to suit everyone's tastes. Plus, MREs are easy to store and transport, making them perfect for any situation. Whether you're headed into the wilderness or preparing for an emergency, MREs are a great choice.

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