Cost per day - $25 to $35
Cost for six months - $4,500 to $6,300, plus shipping (though discounts may be available for large orders)
Longevity - 25-plus years

2 Freeze-Dried Food: Mountain House and many other companies provide a wide selection of freeze-dried meals and food items. They're even more expensive than MREs, but may last up to five times longer. Freeze-dried foods generally require hot water to prepare, and they're as bulky as MREs (yet without the weight). They're available in serving-sized pouches, larger cans, and even buckets. Four pouches a day will be needed to reach 2,400 calories. Oddly enough, the No. 10 entrée cans only contain about 2,000 calories each, yet cost over $30 apiece. The greatest asset to freeze-dried food is shelf life, with 25 years or more expected. You'll need about 180 cans or 720 pouches for a six-month food stash.

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