If the year 2020 taught us one thing, it’s that we should expect the unexpected and be prepared for anything. In case of pandemics, natural disasters, or other large-scale threats, you need to be prepared to survive while hunkered down at home for the long haul. Having enough water and freeze-dried foods is an integral part of that survival, the latter can be expensive.
In this article, I’ll review each of these retailers in terms of their freeze-dried food offerings. These are the best sites if you’re planning on buying your food in bulk. If you’re looking for small quantities of freeze-dried food for camping and other outdoor hobbies, I’ll provide a list of where you can find those goods as well.
SportsmanGuide.com is just what it sounds like it would be – an online retailer that sells all kinds of stuff related to the outdoors. They have camping equipment, guns, ammunition, fishing equipment, military surplus gear, and more. The ‘more’ includes a decent selection of freeze-dried foods and MREs.
They carry a variety of the most popular freeze-dried food brands like Mountain House and ReadyWise. While they focus more on large-scale sales and don’t have many single packs of anything, the prices on their bulk products are very good, thanks to their frequent sales.
What makes Sportsman’s Guide so good is that you can sign up for their Buyer’s Club membership. With it, you get numerous perks, much cheaper prices, and free shipping. Check out their membership page to see the current offering.
You’ll also get a variety of discounts on most of the site’s merchandise and access to unique, members-only payment plans.
If taste is your main concern, look no further.
Augason Farms sells its own brand of freeze-dried products, and a lot of them come at excellent prices.
If you do some searching on forums, though, you’ll soon find one thing on which many people agree: Even the Augason Farms products that aren’t the cheapest are still worth it because they taste amazing. They’re frequently cited as having “best of…” products in reviews of freeze-dried foods.
It may seem hard to believe that you’d find the best prices on freeze-dried goods on a mass merchandise website like Amazon, but it’s true. Amazon frequently has the lowest prices on many different freeze-dried food brands, and they have an incredible selection. I’ve purchased this meal bucket and the “adventure” meal kit from them on several occasions.
They also have an excellent selection of individual products and products from the other top brands in freeze-dried foods, such as ReadyWise and Augason Farms.
Another particular favorite in my home is the large can of Augason Farms Freeze Dried Sliced Strawberries. Just be sure to comparison shop. At the time of this writing, it was cheaper to get the same product directly from Augason Farms.
An important note about Amazon: They often add freeze-dried foods to their Black Friday sales, and the prices then are often extremely low, so keep an eye out for that this November.
Walmart is another one of those surprising places where you wouldn’t think to look for freeze-dried foods, but it certainly has them. They have items both in-store – usually in the sporting goods section – and online. While you won’t find many bulk items in the store, they have those, too. You’ll just have to shop online if you want to buy in bulk.
4Patriots is somewhat hit or miss with its food. Some of it is slightly overpriced, but you can buy other items at some of the lowest prices on the market. They also have outstanding sales, so if you can catch those when they’re happening, you’ll definitely be in luck.
I almost didn’t add BulkFoods to the list because it’s not a traditional place most people look when they think of freeze-dried goods. BulkFoods is much more well-known for its ingredients, spices, coffee, and tea. In the end, though, I decided to add them because they have fantastic prices on dried fruits and dried veggies.
You won’t find any MREs on this website, and they won’t carry any of the name-brand goods from Mountain House or ReadyWise, but if you’re looking to buy freeze-dried fruit and vegetables at wholesale prices in large quantities, don’t overlook BulkFoods.com.
The last place on our list is another one that’s often overlooked because it’s not exactly a conventional spot to buy freeze-dried goods. It does, however, have a decent selection of dehydrated vegetables and other items.
They won’t have the giant cases of bulk meals and things like that, but if you’re looking for cases of dehydrated staples to stock your pantry, don’t hesitate to check out the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints online store.
Other Retailers that Sell Freeze-Dried Foods
There are plenty of other stores/sites that sell freeze-dried foods. Generally speaking, they aren’t the cheapest places to find them, but if you’re looking for a particular brand, flavor, or product that you can’t find on one of the above-listed websites, you might want to check these out as well.
Best for Large Orders
Although they aren’t necessarily the cheapest, these are some of the best places if you plan to buy large quantities at one time:
- My Patriot Supply – My Patriot Supply doesn’t have the lowest prices on most of their freeze-dried foods and MREs, but if you’re looking for huge amounts of supplies, such as enough to last for six months to a year – this is the site to use. Most of their dried goods also have shelf lives of 25+ years.
- ReadyWise – ReadyWise doesn’t have the lowest prices around, but they are excellent if you’re looking to buy in bundles rather than just bulk. Whereas most retailers sell a large bucket-like case of items, ReadyWise sells bundles, including anywhere from four to 12 of these buckets for one price.
- Overstock.com – This website doesn’t always sell freeze-dried foods, but when they do, they, much like ReadyWise, sell huge quantities of items for a single price, and the price is usually not bad.
- Emergency Essentials – This is a pretty standard starting point for those looking to buy freeze-dried foods and other emergency essentials. They have a wide selection of both individual and bulk items, and while their prices aren’t the lowest, lots of people agree that their Emergency Essentials brand food is delicious.
Best for Individual Purchases
If you’re looking for small quantities of items for camping trips or just as a way to try them before you invest in large quantities of them, these are some good places for that:
- Campmor – They don’t have many bulk items, and their prices are only average, but if you’re looking for a wide variety of single-package products, this is a great place to look.
- Cabela’s – The prices at Cabela’s are about average, but most large cities have at least one of these stores close by, so if you prefer shopping in-store as opposed to online, you might want to check them out.
- TheEpicenter.com – This is another retailer that doesn’t sell a lot of bulk items. Still, if you’re looking for a good variety of individual items, particularly within the Mountain House brand, you can find them here.
Thanks to COVID-19, you can now find freeze-dried foods and MREs in more places than ever, including mainstream retailers like Walmart and Amazon. They aren’t always the cheapest items to buy, but you can frequently catch them on sale at most of the above-listed merchandisers.
The cheapest places to buy high-quality freeze-dried foods are SportsmansGuide.com, Augason Farms, Amazon, Walmart, 4Patriots.com, BulkFoods.com, and the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints online store. These are also known for having frequent sales on freeze-dried foods and MREs.
Additionally, there are plenty of places, like ReadyWise, where you can purchase freeze-dried foods in bulk or for wholesale rates. If you’re large-scale prepping, these are excellent options. Just remember to check the shelf life of any freeze-dried foods you buy. Brands with 25-year+ shelf lives are the gold standard.
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