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Help needed on overall best value MRE
Posted: Tue May 26, 2009 1:16 am
Hi, I'm new here and looking for some assistance on future MRE purchases. I have 4 cases of Menu C's from MREDepot.com and 4 cases of APacks from MREFoods.com, based on all of the confusion right now with calories counts and other issues, what would you recommend as the best value of all of the Civilian MRE's to stock up on now, figuring in a good balance between quality, calorie count, shelf life and price?
Re: Help needed on overall best value MRE
Posted: Tue May 26, 2009 6:36 am
Eric, welcome to the forums! The confusion about the Menu C MREs should be mostly resolved now. MREDepot.com has updated their menus and those menus now fairly accurately reflect what they're shipping. Check out my updated Menu C and "Civilian MRE Comparison" pages for updated calorie counts:
http://www.mreinfo.com/civilian/mre/civ ... rison.html
As for quality, calorie count, and shelf life, all the civilian MREs use pretty much the same parts as the military MREs so they all have the same shelf life (just be sure you don't get any 2008 or earlier Wornick Eversafes because some of those use off-the-shelf commercial products with very short shelf lives). They also all have fairly close calorie counts - except for the Sure-Paks which were low for some reason in my last count.
That just leaves the big question...price. Personally, I've been buying APacks this year for $25-$45 per case from eBay and that's a heck of a deal over any other civilian MRE - but these were all 2-3 year old APacks (still good, just not brand-new). But if you're looking to buy your civilian MREs new from a reputable supplier, the best deal going is still mrefoods.com
where they have them for $73 per case, with free shipping included. This free shipping is very sweet because unless you live right next to someone selling these MREs, they're going to cost you between $8 and $25 extra to ship.
Another thing to consider is to keep a variety of civilian MREs on hand. Since you already have 4 cases of Menu Cs and 4 cases of APacks, you're off to a good start - you won't be stuck eating the same 6 APack meals over and over because you have some Menu Cs to break up the menu monotony. I'd say keep shopping around on price - you can't really go wrong with any of the major civilian MREs out there - just stick to the Sopakco Sure-Paks, Ameriqual APacks, Wornick Eversafes, MREStars, and Menu Cs.
Re: Help needed on overall best value MRE
Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:45 pm
hey eric...sounds like a good collection so far with 4 cases of APacks and 4 cases of Menu Cs. Just from my personal experience with civi MREs...everyone has their own personal preferences. Easiest way to figure out what civi MRE has the best bang for the buck is to do a personal comparison test. First, read kman's civilian MRE comparison section to find out which civilian MREs that you should NOT buy...kman even posted pics of civi MREs that you should avoid...i.e. these are the ones that contain regular off-the-supermarket-shelf food stuff.
Since you already have APacks and Menu C's, if you look hard enough you can go out and buy a single MRE (1 meal) from each of the other civilian MRE brands that you dont have i.e. Sure-Pak, MRE Star, Wornick, etc....then basically do a side by side comparison test to see which ones you like better for contents, taste, accessories, snacks, etc. Each one is pretty unique. For example, the APacks have a traditional entree, but have more separate snacks rather than the usual side dish; while the Sure-Paks and Menu Cs are relatively similar to the real military MREs in that they have the traditional entree, side dish, crackers/bread, and dessert; the entrees in the MRE Star brand are really good, but I don't like the fact that they give you dried fruit but no side dish or crackers/wheat snack bread. Nothing says MRE like crackers or wheat snack bread with spread. Once you actually do a side by side comparison, you'll easily be able figure out which ones you like the most...then, you can stock up only on the ones you like.
Plus, MREs get cheaper as they get older, for obvious reasons, so if you only plan on buying and storing the MREs...you'll probably have to pay a premium price for the freshest packed-on date (2008-2009) but you can find 2005-2006 cases of civi MREs for much cheaper prices if you plan on using/eating them in the near future. Just make sure you buy the older MREs from reputable sellers to make sure they were stored properly...extreme heat tends to do funny things to improperly stored MREs.
As far as shelf-life is concerned, as long as you keep your MREs in a dry, cool place (i.e. basement, ground-floor closet), you'll be fine past the inspection date. Kman posted a more in-depth review of MRE shelf-life based on storage temperatures. Hope this helps...good luck.