I originally got this idea from DUKE. We had done a MLK weekend camping trip several years ago and the rest of us had Mountain House packaged food or expired MRE's, as one person found out the hard way. He showed up to cook with I believe Lipton cup-o-soup packs, vienna sausages, and some other things. We all sat around heating our water to go into the pouches, while DUKE stirred all his stuff in a mess kit and cooked right in front of us. There was a discussion going around at the time and he remarked about his cost for his food compared to what we paid for the freeze dried pouches. ok, fast forward to today.....
I have used mylar bags that are similar to the ones Mountain House uses for their packaging in my own food stores. Instead of using the larger bags, I started breaking the stores into smaller, more easier to manage sizes. Here is a link to the site I purchased them from, USA Emergency Supply.
I, like many of you have eaten a Mountain House freeze dried meal before. I like them better than the other brands by far, but there are a few issues I have with them. First issue is the lack of variety they have and some of their product line I really don't care for. Second issue is the amount of freeze dried meat that they put in the meals, which to me is hardly any for the price I pay for them. Final issue, of course is the price.
I have the bag, now the next step for me was to decide what meal so I want to make.
Knorr pack run around $1.00 each.
I decided I will use the Chili Mac mix as my test meal as I like chili mac, I sure as hell ate a lot while in the Navy. Since it is hard to find freeze dried meat in local stores, for this project and I am not using TVP or HVP that's in Mountain House, I placed an order with Honeyville and purchased a small can of beef and turkey.
Next, I open both packages. The recommended serving size for the beef was 1/2 cup. Well I want to make this can stretch so I reduced down to a 1/4 cup.
I place all the items into the zip-loc mylar bag and place a 500cc oxygen absorber in with the food and remove as much of the air from the bag and zip it shut. I also used an iron to heat seal the top strip of the bag to ensure that if the zip-loc seal does leak, I have a secondary seal.
Now to break down the costs and weights for each bag:
Mylar bag with shipping: $0.43
Box of hamburger helper chili mac with tax: $1.60
O2 absorber with shipping: $0.22
Freeze dried beef with shipping: $2.18
Grand total for a pouch of Senior Survival Food (SSF): $4.43
Grand total for MH Chili mac from Academy sports with tax: $8.54
Total savings of: $4.11
Total weight of the MH Chili mac: 4.80 ounces
Total weight of homemade: 6.20 ounces.
By no means am I knocking Mountain house and their products down, as I stated earlier, they are the best tasting ones on the market compared to the other brands but I have a few issues with them. I am looking for a low-cost alternative that I can have more options with. I wanted to also put a picture of the packaging when the 500cc O2 absorber was finished but I will post a picture when I open it and try the meal out. I will do a part two to this post.
That's all for today, if you have comments or suggestions, please post them and lets get the discussion going.
Till next time, stay safe, carry often, and get ready, it's coming soon.