What are the Cheapest MREs for Sale? What’s the Cheapest place to buy them? How and Where can You Buy Cheap MREs Online?
Today We’re going to get to the bottom of these questions and more…
As you know, having a stockpile of NON-perishable food is a must for overcoming any kind of emergency.
MREs are one the best, nutritious, longest-lasting, and tastiest survival foods you can get.
The problem is…
MREs are usually expensive.
The cost can add up fast if you don’t know where to buy them from. Especially if you’re stocking up and buying a lot.
And while dirt cheap MREs do exist… they are hard to find.
So, I set out on a mission: To find the cheapest proper MREs on the market – online or offline.
I sat down and Googled my butt off. And today I’m sharing the results with you.
But before we get to the results, there are some things that we need to clarify…
The Difference Between Civilian and Military MREs
U.S. military MREs are your best bet when it comes to cheapness and quality.
They come with flameless heaters and usually have a better taste selection than civilian MREs .
How To Know It’s The Real Thing
Genuine U.S. Military issue MREs will have on their packaging:
- A Department of Defense seal
- The phrases “U.S. Government Property” & “Commercial Resale is Unlawful”
Civilian MRE’s will not bear this information.
Remember this – because some companies will mark their MREs as “Mil-Spec”. If the seal & phrases are not the box, it’s not a genuine military MRE.
The problem is that commercial sale of U.S. Military MREs is restricted . (To keep people from buying them by the truckload from military bases and reselling outside for profit.)
Because of that, military MREs are harder to find. But you can get boxes of them from Ebay and Amazon quite easy.
The thing with military MREs is that you don’t know how they’ve been stored before. Maybe they sat in the desert for 6 months. If that’s the case – the shelf life of the MRE will be reduced significantly.
And if you get a bad batch – you have nobody that’s going to take a responsibility for it.
Note: They probably didn’t sit in the desert and are completely fine. Still, you get no guarantee of quality with military MREs besides from the U.S. government approval seal.
Civilian MREs are usually more expensive.
One important upside when buying civilian MREs is the quality guarantee . That the box will last exactly as long as it’s promised to. If not – you can sue the company.
You should know a few things about shopping for civilian MREs.
MREs Without Heaters
Some boxes will ship without flameless MRE heaters – that’s how they cut costs. That’s not a bad thing, since it saves you money.
Get yourself a basic propane camping stove (that you should have anyway) and you’re set. Boil water and use it to heat up the MREs. Problem solved.
MRE heaters are convenient, but not necessary (in most situations). There are many ways to heat MREs without them.
MREs with Reduced Calories
The norm for MREs is ~1200 calories per packet.
And that’s important. Because you can survive by eating only one of those packets per day … pretty much forever. (sure – you’ll be hungry – but you’ll survive)
And here’s the thing –
Some companies cut costs on the calories of the meal . They sell cheap MREs… that have less than 1200 calories. Usually at around 900 kcal per packet.
And that’s not something you want to get.
You can usually tell from the name that your MREs are “light”. But it’s not always obvious. So remember to double-check the calorie count if you decide to go for civilian MREs.
The most important thing to remember: If the deal is too good to be true – it probably is.
Cheapest MREs For Sale
|Source||Meals||Cost||Cost per meal||Calories Per Meal|
|U.S. Military Surplus (Ebay)||12||$65||$5.4||Standard (~1200)|
|Survival Warehouse (No Heaters)||12||$75||$6.3||Standard (~1200)|
|U.S. Military Surplus (Amazon)||24||$158||$6.6||Standard (~1200)|
|U.S. Military Surplus (Amazon)||12||$84||$7||Standard (~1200)|
|MRE Marketplace||12||$90||$7.5||Standard (~1200)|
|Eversafe (U.S. Military Manufacturer)||12||$99||$8.3||Standard (~1200)|
|MRE Star (No Heaters)||12||$99||$8.3||Standard (~1200)|
|XMRE Meals||12||$116||$9.7||Standard (~1200)|
For cheapness, your best bet is:
- Buying cases of military MREs online
- Or civilian MREs during sales
Note: Unless you have a lot of time on your hands. If you do, check the section at the bottom with one advanced trick for buying MREs.
As you can see, Ebay is the clear winner.
You can usually find better deals (especially auctions) on Ebay. It’s mostly boxes with defects… but they work.
One thing you should know is that returns and refunds are easier with Amazon . So definitely check out what they have to offer, too.
I’ve heard that Beprepared has 30-50% off on MREs during sales so keep an eye out for that, too.
Still – getting the price down to about $6 per MRE is not that impressive. Unfortunately – that’s the best you can do without going out of your way.
Here are some advanced tricks to do better than that.
Cheap MREs at Gun Shows
Cheap MREs are often sold at gun shows. I’ve seen them go as low as $4 per packet, but there’s a catch…
Who knows where those MREs have been stored before.
And MRE shelf life degrades FAST when they’re stored in high temperatures . You don’t want expired MREs messing up your stomach.
If I were to buy MREs at gun shows, I would only buy from someone that I can trust.
And keep in mind that the price is not always that low. Usually you’ll see them sold at about the same price as Ebay.
It’s easier to find a good auction on Ebay rather than go to a gun show.
But Not At The Comissary
I’ve seen claims that you can find cheap MREs at a base commissary.
The latest report I’ve seen puts the price of one packet at $8 . It’s not cheap by my standards.
And there is a reason for that. Uncle Sam spends about $100 to buy one case of MREs . They’re not going to sell it to you for less.
So, contrary to popular opinion, you won’t find cheap MREs at the comissary.
Cheap MRE Alternatives
Long-Term Food Storage
Did you know that MREs are not the only long-term food storage option out there?
- Cost less than MREs
- Last longer (up to 20 years)
So if all you want is a reliable food stockpile, they’re worth looking at.
The most reliable brands are:
I prefer Mountain House, but they’re all fine at the end of the day.
Make Your Own MREs
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I choose which MREs come in the bulk MRE box?
You either pay top dollar for the individual meals, or take what’s offered in the bulk. I’ve never seen price breaks for large quantities of individual flavors. The only bulk versions I’ve seen are mixed assortment menus.
The Final Word
Ebay and Amazon are obvious choices to look for cheap MREs.
So, when I started researching, I was 100% sure that I would find a cheaper place to buy them from.
You know, a hidden prepper store somewhere on the internet. Or some secret army shop that sells MREs on discount.
I was confident that there would be at least something .
Unfortunately, I was wrong.
Ebay and Amazon are the cheapest places to buy MREs online.
Gun shows are the only way to maybe get them cheaper.
But that takes time and luck. And I don’t like luck.
If you know any place that sells cheap MREs that I missed – please let me know in the comments.
I’ll update the article accordingly .