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How to Make Your Own MRE Meals With Local Grocery Store Items

Deidre has a Masters in applied linguistics and translation for her 20 years overseas. She's worked as a certified provider of the MBTI®.


Make your own Meals Ready To Eat (MREs) for recreational outings or to have on hand for emergencies. It is certainly cheaper than buying them pre-made and also you can have some choice in what your MRE includes.

Doing it yourself means you can make MREs

  • with food specifically for a healthy and/or restricted diet, and
  • as a cost-saving way to keep fresh leftovers and/or extra food

The following video shows you the process of vacuum sealing a do-it-yourself MRE. I include this video also because it shows various options of buying specific parts of the meals. So take a look and see what one person actually does to make his own MREs, himself.

You might then want to try it yourself!

Do-It-Yourself Meal Ready To Eat

Variety of options

Some things you need to get started

1. Food Ideas

At the linked site above, many options are offered for choosing what goes in your civilian MRE. You can see there what kind of selections they have for food ideas.

2. Heater

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of that page and you'll see the various MRE heaters available.



3. Emergency Items

The following linked site has all sorts of emergency items, not just food. To locate, click the tab "MRE meals". This site has several demonstration videos so you can see how the traditional MRE works.

Vacuum sealer used in the video

4. Vacuum Sealer

That site is also where I found the hand-held vacuum sealer that the doctor uses in the first above YouTube video demonstration.

It is also at, seen here.

Nice demonstration videos

5. Ziploc brand vacuum sealer

I also found a Ziploc brand vacuum sealer and bags at my local grocery store. The vacuum sealer cost under $4, however I'm concerned about the quality of seal, since it was so cheap.

Experiment to see what works best

Try it out by soaking a bag in water sealed, with this cheap vacuum for a week and see if it leaks! On the other hand, the foodsaver bags are of higher quality and would be better suited to slipping inside an MRE heater for cooking.

The Ziploc ones might melt - another experiement to do!

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© 2010 Deidre Shelden


Deidre Shelden (author) from Texas, USA on February 21, 2015:

Robert, Thanks for this tip on a heavier duty bag!

Robert on February 20, 2015:

Ms Dee, I use my foodsaver with the heavy duty Ziplock bags and they go from freezer to microwave to boiling without a problem. They are heavier (mils) than the foodsaver bags. Like your posts.

Deidre Shelden (author) from Texas, USA on February 28, 2013:

DIYmommy, It is so good the troops are provided something better for their meals on-the-go (so to speak) than before. Thanks for your service for our country!

Julie on February 28, 2013:

With my husband in the Army, one day he brought home an MRE for the family to try. I admit, it wasn't half bad. He told me that the food they eat has come a long long way since, say, the Vietnam era. Thanks for the great hub!

Deidre Shelden (author) from Texas, USA on December 01, 2010:

Hey, Team A, it sure must have helped to have warm food :). Helpful thoughts! Yes, homemade would be better nutritionally is what we're thinking.

Team A on December 01, 2010:

I remember MRE. One thing I like about it is that you can actually heat it up! I don't recommend it for people without an active lifestyle though because of calories stored in one MRE bag. I bet the home made as less calories than the one from the store.

Deidre Shelden (author) from Texas, USA on November 19, 2010:

Hey, great to get your info GTR! Yes, right, this vacuum sealing apparently even keeps dehydrated foods fresher longer. :) That's what the information says, at least.

Gustave Kilthau from USA on November 19, 2010:

Ms Dee - I did not have time to watch the videos, so perhaps they covered dehydration of foods. Some can be eaten still dried, but others can be re-hydrated and then cooked however you like. Most keep best in plastic bags and in the refrigerator or freezer in addition. During our last several hurricanes we survived nicely on MREs, both our own and GI surplus.

Gus :-)))

DREAM ON on November 18, 2010:

A good way to keep food sealed fresh.I am able to get my lunch work for free so I am one of the lucky ones.

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