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MREs vs Can food
The Ebay seller has 2/2018 MREs on sale again for those interested...

I was tempted.  But after thinking a bit, these are tested to 2018 ( packed 2015 ) ...and while not a overly educated on MRE, know the basics.

If wrong, let me know,... but these are good to a max of what 10 yrs if stored well tho only verified tested to 2018. So 2015 MREs will be good for another 5 yrs .

Costs being $70 for 12 meals....kinda costly for ready to eat.

Then I thought of canned food...
1) many good for more than 5 yrs ( depending, just purchased a case of black beans listed good till 2022  )
2) canned food can be eaten directly and many have also liquid
3) canned food we already eat and like in our normal mix , so no issues there with weird food , fruits, veggies, beans, etc
4) you can buy a lot of canned food for $70

1) must rotate ...not a big deal as we normally use the same products but not like freezed dried where you can throw on a shelf
2) canned life prob max at 10yrs

Any one else care to add or comment ??
We have some MREs that we take with us when we travel and some MH meals we take when we travel. Since taking the MREs/MH meals take up less space and are self contained, they are easier to travel with than a bunch of cans.

Yet, we lean more towards canned foods that we use than lots of MREs setting around. As you pointed out, lower cost and it is something we use.
Here are some thoughts:

MRE vs. can food:
  • It's a complete meal in a package.  The typical MRE has an entree, side, dessert, drink mix, snack and some useful items such as tissue paper, gum, matches etc.  They are roughly 1200 calories.  Depending on the can food, you'd need a lot to equal the caloric intake.
  • Broken down, the MRE probably has more calories for the space/weight than an equal number of cans (calorie for calorie).
  • Can food is less portable but much less expensive.  Side note, the MRE's I've gotten off Ebay have been around $4 per meal give or take.  I think I've paid $50 or less for a case of 12 the several times I've purchased.
  • For a stay home/bug in situation you can't beat canned food and/or dry food (rice, beans, oatmeal etc) for price and shelf life.
  • For travel, camping/bug out the MRE is a better option.  Not as a long term solution but for a 72 hour event it's doable.  
  • Problems with MRE's are they are high in sodium.  As a replacement of sodium it's fine if you're losing a lot, but for those on special-needs diets it's not the best solution.  Canned food on the other hand can be obtained with low-sodium options.  

That's a lot of thoughts to toss out.  When we go on our SEP gatherings we always pack some MRE's for quick meals that are actually pretty tasty and kinda fun to eat.  Broken down they are easier to pack in a backpack and not nearly as heavy.  But for long term home storage I'd definitely go with canned/dry food all day long.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
When you compare the two, posed as alternatives, there are dimensions more than static vs. movement.

Let's identify other dimensions:
1.  you live in an area where you can keep the food at a constant, cool temperature vs. an area where you can't have a root cellar.
2.  You are in a situation wherein you are concerned that someone can smell your food smells vs. an environment where it doesn't matter.
3,  You are in an area wherein your access to plentiful clean water is ok or you don't have access to a lot of water.
4.  You are in an area wherein, you have plenty of firewood or the time to gather the same vs. not being in such an area.
5.  You or a companion is down and you or the companion need to eat without a lot of preparation time vs. you have a lot of assistance.

So, I came up with a concept of layering in the preps.  Earthquake/hurricane/tornado/flood/civil unrest/recovery from surgery at home - I am on my own.  My zip code has 13,000 to the square mile, although the closest apartment buildings are 5 blocks away.  So, I want 30 days of no smoke, no fire, no clean up, no baking, no smells.  Canned foods.  After 30 days, I want MREs.

What two foods, if properly packaged, last indefinitely?  Spam and hardtack.  Civil War hardtack, before commercial refrigeration and made for the Civil War, was still being used 50 years later.  I don't eat Spam.  However, when shtf, I have a couple of cases - and hopefully, I go through the first several months without tapping it.  Hardtack?  Not commercially available.  Easy to make.  Unfortunately, too easy to snack on unless you discipline yourself.

How much "nutrition" is in an MRE?  Less than the amount of calories allowed in WW2 concentration camps.  GIs captured at the Battle of the Bulge.  Some were actually put into concentration camps.  The average weight loss was 60 pounds in 6 months.  It was calculated that they were consuming less than 1400 calories a day.   If you work outside, you will need 3 MREs a day.  That starts to get expensive.

People extol rice for calories.  Wheat has 3x the calories.  Store dry pasta without egg or milk being used when it was made.  You will still need a lot of stored pasta.  At $1 a pound, it is cheap enough to store.

Unless you are totally experienced, don't get sucked into the "buy in bulk and can it/bag it yourself" rhetoric.  If you screw up, you have wasted money.  Take the easy way out - order survival foods through Costco or the Mormon Church.
I lived off of MRE's during Desert Storm. I can't stand them or fruit punch gatoraid to this day. The portability does make them attractive but if you have a cool dark dry place for food storage check out the LDS Home Food Storage web page.
They have been preaching prepping since the day they first got organized. They also have some good info off the links on their store page.
"Unless you are totally experienced, don't get sucked into the "buy in bulk and can it/bag it yourself" rhetoric.  If you screw up, you have wasted money. "

Honestly, it's not rocket science....

I know many ( and I did myself for some items like white rice ) that use 1 or 2 liter soda bottles for storage.
They are small enough and rice ( example ) is cheap enough so if one goes bad it's not a big loss... as it is if you keep the bugs and vermin out rice will last a long time by itself even without the O2 depletors .
Not to mention same for dry beans ,etc

Not really waiting for SHTF , but more of a storm / local event and lasting long enough to get thru is what you need.
A combo of cans/freezed dry/mre's prob will suit the best ... but doing some yourself allows more savings
MREs are best if used for situations they were designed for.  Bugging out, get home, patrolling etc.  They are a complete meal that does not require heating or hydration and can be eaten on the move.  If "field stripped" they take up less space.  You also only "need" 2x per day max.  I have extensive experience living off of them.  Normal activity, 2 is plenty about 2400+ cals.  High activity, yeah you'll feel hungry and may lose weight, but not be malnourished.  We only had 2x day in Ranger School, it wasn't that bad.  The poor saps that went before me only got one/day...and it was longer! (the school, not the day Wink ) 

If you don't eat and rotate them, it ends up being a waste of money since they eventually go bad.  I suggest buying a case, putting them in BOBs, GHBs and vehicles.  Take them hunting/camping to slowly use them up and replace.

I have about 2.5 cases getting close to expiration left over from military training. It will be a waste to toss them in a year or 2, but I don't eat them and they are pushing 4+ yrs old now.  Have them in vehicles and one in my GHB.
Keep them cool and they last much longer.'08.
If you look like food,you will be eaten.

I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

Quantity has a quality all of its own.
Back when I backpacked I did a number of 5 and 6 day trips with nothing but one MRE a day. Typically to cut down on bulk and waste I would break down the MREs down to just entree's, sides, deserts, snacks. One doesn't typically need all the stuff that comes in an MRE pack three times a day or even once a day.

I actually liked MRE entrees for backpacking (and bicycle trips) better than dehydrated food because you didn't need water or even heat to eat them which is also good for being stealthy.

In survival mode you can easily live on the calories of one MRE a day for many months. You'll lose weight but that's not a bad thing (most of us need to anyway) as long as you get enough protein.

These days I just buy the entree's I like and keep them in all my BOBs, GHBs, GAGS, vehicles etc. I do keep some in my travel trailer and at my cabin for when I am hunting or working on the property alone. Just easier to grab and entree sometimes when alone and it also helps me rotate them.

Edited to add: Been awhile since I bough MREs. Just looking at prices now it seems the price has gone up considerably since the last time I bought them or just the entrees.
I've gotten several cases off Ebay.  Much cheaper than the Army/Navy far!  In my neck of the woods the A/N stores wanted like $10-$14 for an MRE that had already been opened and didn't contain all the contents (like the flameless heaters and such).  

You've got to shop around and factor in shipping but off of Ebay I've gotten MRE's around the $4 mark for an entire meal (and that included shipping into the $).  I'll normally get both the A and B cases for about a $100.  And they've improved in quality over the years as well with some additional options for entrees.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.

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