Where To Buy Cheap MREs Online | Build a Stash

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Key Takeaways

  • The best places to buy MREs online include My Patriot Supply, The Ready Store, and Emergency Essentials.
  • MREs are good for emergency food kits and to bring camping.
  • MREs were originally made for the military.
  • If you buy an MRE from Amazon or eBay, make sure to check the seller and product reviews

Whether you are looking to stock up on food for your fallout shelter or like to bring them on long hikes or camping, you should know where to buy cheap MREs.

Amazon and eBay sellers often offer MREs at reasonable prices, but these are not always consistent. However, websites like My Patriot Supply, The Ready Store, Emergency Essentials, Mountain House, and 4Patriots, have a wide variety of cheap MREs and are reputable sellers.

As someone who likes to be prepared for anything, MREs are important to always keep on hand. They are perfect for storing in your vehicle's truck if you become stranded for several hours. MREs also work well for making emergency preparedness kits and bringing camping or hiking. Unfortunately, MREs are not cheap. Many people believe they cannot afford to stock up on these emergency foods. Below I discuss the best places to buy MREs online that won't drain your bank account. I also discuss the best options these websites have, the pros and cons of each, and more.

Table of contents


What are MREs, and Why Should you Buy Them?

MREs, or Meal Ready-to-Eat, are calorie-dense pre-packaged meals originally designed for the military. They are lightweight and have a very long shelf-life making them perfect for emergency preparedness kits, camping, hiking, and other situations where having food available is vital.

You should also buy MREs because they are packed with energy and calories while requiring no prep. They can be eaten hot or cold right out of the package. The cost-to-benefit ratio cannot be understated for these life-saving meals.

How Long Can You Eat MREs for?

While MREs have plenty of calories, vitamins, and minerals, you should not eat them as your sole food source. The US Department of Defense recommends only eating MREs if needed and sparingly. In addition, they are firm that you should never eat MREs for more than 21 days in a row.

Also, remember that they are not the healthiest food you can eat. MREs are often full of sugar and sodium, which are unhealthy to consume in large doses. In addition, MREs are known to cause constipation and stomach issues if you do not exert enough energy after eating one.

Also, do not eat several MREs per day. The calorie content is enough to where you should not need more than two per day. Any more than is, and you could be stuck in the bathroom for longer than you want.

How Long do MREs Last?

When stored properly in a cool and dry area, MREs can last up to 30 years. However, each brand and manufacturer will have a different shelf-life for their MREs. Some only last around three to five years.

Always check the date printed on the package for an idea of how long your MREs should last. Of course, these are more of a guideline than a firm expiration date, but they are important to note before storing them long-term.

How Much Do MREs Cost?

The average price of an MRE can vary from $3 to $15 each. A case of 12 MREs will cost anywhere from $90 to $130. The price depends on the brand, what is included with the MRE, and the shelf-life of the MRE.

Like anything else, buy as much as possible to get the best price. Many retailers sell packs ranging from a case of 12 to a one-year supply. Just don't buy more than you need, as they do need to be stored properly and will expire eventually.

Should I Buy MREs from Amazon or eBay?

While Amazon and eBay are reputable companies, they allow people to see their products. Unfortunately, this means you might not always be able to find the same brand or type you are looking for in stock.

If you find a good deal on one of these sites, read the seller and product reviews. You will want to buy from a reputable seller to ensure you get a legitimate product that hasn't been sitting in a warehouse for five years. Also, make sure they guarantee their products and will work with you if any issues arise.

Best Places to Buy Cheap MREs Online

As you know, MREs are more expensive than frozen dinners. So, if you want to stock up, it is important to get the best deal. Here are five websites you should check before buying whatever Amazon and eBay have available.

My Patriot Supply

My Patriot Supply was launched in 2008 as the first patriot emergency supply company. The American-owned business strives to ensure everyone has access to emergency foods and survival items, as military-grade MREs were not sold to the public.

If you were lucky enough to find MREs for sale, they would cost you an arm and a leg. This is where My Patriot Supply comes in. They pride themselves on offering affordable emergency and survival items so everyone can feel safe by not relying on others for life's essentials.

Types of MREs Sold

My Patriot Supply offers many emergency food options, including long-term and short-term food supplies, bulk #10 cans, and special emergency kits.

Their MRE Case Pack with Heater is a popular choice. It features 12 meals of 1100 to 1300 calories each. Each meal includes an entrée, a side, a snack, and a dessert. They have a shelf life of three years and include flameless meal heaters, so you don't have to eat the meals cold. They also include a drink mix, spices, coffee, creamer, a spoon, napkins, and a pick brush.

Shipping and Alternative Payment Options

My Patriot Supply makes it easy to stock up for the future. They offer monthly installment plans at no additional cost. This will break up your total purchase over four months making it easier to afford.

Shipping is free on orders over $99, and they offer same-day shipping when you order before 3 pm on business days.

Why My Patriot Supply

Not only can you get MREs from My Patriot Supply, but they also sell everything you need to live off the grid. From water and air purification systems to cooking tools, first aid kits, and emergency power supplies, you can get everything you need to weather the storm.

The Ready Store

The Ready Store is another highly-rated emergency food company. For five years, they have been recognized as one of the best by websites like the Spruce East, the Survival Mom, and Backdoor Survival.

Types of MREs Sold

The MREs sold by The Ready Store are available in 12-packs, one-month, three-month, six-month, and one-year supplies. These particular meals have a shelf-life of one to five years and include heaters for each meal. In addition, the MREs include an entrée, sides, desserts, utensils, a towelette, and condiments.

Shipping and Alternative Payment Options

They are big on offering flat shipping costs like $9 for up to $100, $12 for up to $200, and $15 for orders above $200. They also have a map on their website with shipping timeframes for the entire United States.

They do not offer expedited shipping or guarantees on when the order will ship out other than saying you will receive tracking info when it ships.

The Ready Store offers payment plans from Affirm to make it easy to break your order down into affordable monthly payments.

Why The Ready Store

The Ready Store only sells high-quality products from companies in the United States. They also price match if you find a cheaper alternative elsewhere. They also boast meals that can last up to 30 years and sell a wide range of food types, so there is something for everyone. They also claim to use the same manufacturers as those who make military-grade MREs.

Emergency Essentials

Founded in 1987 as a single employee working out of a lining room, Emergency Essentials has since grown into a company selling emergency food all over the country from a huge warehouse. They want to ensure people are ready for the unknown, whether a storm, flood, fire or earthquake, or other emergencies like job loss, illness, or pandemics.

Types of MREs Sold

Emergency Essentials sells 12-pack MREs at one of the best prices around. They have a shelf life of up to three years with 1100 to 1300 calories per serving. Each meal includes an entrée, snack, dessert, and snack. They also have a flameless heater for each meal and an accessory pack with a drink mix, utensils, and coffee.

Shipping and Alternative Payment Options

Emergency Essentials uses fixed shipping costs based on the total purchase. For example, up to $60 costs $9.99, $60 to $120 costs $12.99, and over $120 is $15.99. They ship all over the entire United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. They also offer shipping to Canada but no other international locations.

Emergency Essentials accepts PayPal and offers Affirm payment plans to make the purchase more manageable.

Why Emergency Essentials

Their prices cannot be beaten, and they also sell a wide variety of other emergency items like bulk food in #10 cans, gluten-free options, water pouches, and survival gear.

Mountain House

Mountain House is located south of Portland in Oregon and has been a top seller of MREs for years. They started working with the United States Special Forces during the Vietnam war to make better-tasting and longer-lasting food for the troops. They have since evolved into a company working to meet consumer demand for freeze-dried foods.

Types of MREs Sold

Mountain House sells authentic Meal, Cold Weather (MCW) rations made for the United States Armed Forces. They have a three-year shelf life and come vacuum sealed.

They are different from typical MREs as they are not full meals but a single entrée and do not include utensils or condiments. However, they sell food pouches from brands like Adventure Meals and Pro – Pak which might be better for everyday use.

Shipping and Alternative Payment Options

Mountain House offers free ground shipping on all orders. They also offer expedited shipping if you need a rush order. However, the prices are crazy due to the flat shipping rate. For example, they wanted over $70 to 3 day ship an ice cream sandwich! They typically ship orders within two days, arriving in five to seven days.

Mountain House accepts PayPal but does not offer any payment plan options.

Why Mountain House

They offer high-quality long-term food options at reasonable prices, and with free ground shipping, you can save a few bucks right off the bat. They also sell products that have traveled to the North and South Poles and even the Moon. So, why not trust them for your next camping trip?


Starting as an at-home business, 4Patriots has grown into a booming business focusing on producing high-quality products to help people become self-reliant.

Types of MREs Sold

4Patriots offers several packages of survival foods, including an all-meat option, a breakfast kit, and a plant-based food kit. One of their most popular items is the three-month kit. The shelf-life for this food is 25 years, and the kit includes 688 servings. They also sell seventy-two-hour, two-week, four-week, and one-year options if three months isn't what you need.

Shipping and Alternative Payment Options

Most orders will ship within five days, and they provide tracking info. However, they do not offer any form of expedited shipping. Orders over $97 ship free, and under for $14.95. For those who need an alternative payment method, 4Patriots accepts PayPal, Google Pay and provides payment plans from Shop Pay.

Why 4Patriots

They offer a one-year, 100% money-back guarantee on their products with no questions asked. They also pride themselves on excellent customer service and will have a support line you can call with any issues.