I hit up a local grocery store and wound up with several samples after about a week or ordering free samples through the mail as various people (keeping it on the down low) and they never fail to arrive without incident. If you look in magazines and local papers, big papers or coupon books, you will find tons of these free offers. I even found some on the internet where you just put in your addy and they mail you sometimes full sized free samples to sway you. Works even better if you call in and tell them you're a vedor and want a sample, then they send you a bunch! No questions asked! I made three days worth of food rations, shelf stable and waterproof, good tasting familiar foods for less than 20 cents each. I have a lot more to pack and seal but they seem to be a viable option for me and my pals. They won't last as long as perhaps MRE's but they are a lot better tasting and smaller. Included are something to eat for the morning, like packaged oatmeal, then some granola bars and fruit/nuts for the daytime and some meat at evening, which is what I end up with on the trail as it is. Mountain house is ok but for what I'm involved with, these make more sense and look more appealing to me...and they were next to free.
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