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Originally made for the military, meals ready to eat are specially prepared fully nutritious meals in waterproof packaging that only need to be opened to be eaten. They require no external sources of heating to heat up and they can stay fresh for years. Today, MRE meals are available for sale to the public. 

People are discovering the convenience they offer for emergency preparedness and for outdoor expeditions. There are several different types of meals ready to eat.  There are those that are made for military use and they can only be purchased at surplus stores or military bases. 

There are also meals ready to eat that have been prepared for outdoor enthusiasts and are available at camping and adventure supply stores. Another version is made for those wishing to stock up on nutritious foods for use in a natural disaster or another emergency.

Imagine how things would be following an emergency or a disaster like a flood, tornado, hurricane or earthquake. You may not have electricity or hot water. MREs would be ready to open up and enjoyed hot without any need for fuel or other forms of heating. These meals are made to be balanced and nutritious. They can last for years and many have a shelf life of at least seven or more years. 

Those who wish to buy MREs for emergencies can get them in bulk. Most manufacturers that make a variety of meals including breakfasts, lunches and dinners offer a host of menu items including meat or meatless dishes. Everything is included in the meal pouch. You often get utensils attached to the meal package. Look for emergency supply makers of MREs to buy these meals at a good price in bulk so that you can store them away.

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Civilians can also buy military grade meals but only from surplus outlets. If you shop online for your meals ready to eat, be careful. Make certain to buy meals that are guaranteed to be the real thing. The listing should be accompanied by a photo of the actual item or items you are buying. You should also be able to see the label clearly.

eBay can be a good source for low-cost MREs. Make sure you buy from a certified seller with a high rating. Also be sure you can see the packed-on or expiration date on the listing. Make sure you know how long they are good until if you are planning to stockpile them.

You can buy commercially made and distributed meals ready to eat from the manufacturer directly. These specialty companies offer several menu choices, and some of the companies release special menu item meals which you have to buy before they are sold out. These meals will also last for years as long as the packaging is sealed.

These can be fun meals to bring with you and the family when camping. Just tear open the package, fill with water as indicated in the instructions and wait two minutes. This is the time it takes for the meal to heat up. There are some meals or side dishes and desserts made to be eaten cold and you do not need to heat up. Kids find them fun and exciting. Adults enjoy them, too, but also appreciate that these meals offer convenience. There is no need to pack lots of food, bring coolers full of perishables and lighters, matches or charcoal. 

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Clean up after a meal is easy and quick. Just toss your empty package in an appropriate recycling container and you are done. Many meals also come with forks, knives, and spoons so you can worry about packing less when you prepare for your trip.

Be careful when buying meals online. Make sure you are buying the real item. Any seller that discloses you are buying US military grade meals is probably selling a counterfeit. It is illegal to sell this type of meal as a civilian. 

Buy them online or at your favorite outdoor supply store. MREs are fun and convenient ways to eat while traveling, camping or just for stocking up on. They last for years and make excellent meals for disaster preparedness.