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Review: American Red Cross 4 Person 72 Hour Food Supply Bucket

Avatar for Samantha Biggers Samantha Biggers  |  Updated: July 5, 2019
Review: American Red Cross 4 Person 72 Hour Food Supply Bucket

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This food bucket is an excellent bargain for those that want a compact bucket they can stick under the kitchen cabinets and know that they have some easy to prepare nutritionally complete meals for their family. For the couple, this offers at least 6 days worth and only weighs 12.2 lbs!

I like that the bucket has a seal that must be torn away before use. This means the bucket is totally sealed so even if it got water poured on it, your food is safe. All rations are sealed in mylar pouches for a long 20 year shelf life.

American Red Cross 4 Person 72 Hour Food Supply Bucket

The Bottom Line

  • 4 People
  • 3 Days (72 Hours)
  • 2,100 Calories / Day for each Person
  • 120 Servings
  • Different Variety Each Day
  • Convenient 10 Serving Pouches. Use the entire pouch at each meal.
  • Long Shelf Life

Entrees Included And Meal Plan

The meal plan below is included in the bucket and allows you to experience different meals each day. If you are serving less people you can save the remaining pouch for another day and reduce the amount of water used for preparation accordingly.


Day 1

  • Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Oatmeal (10 Servings)
  • Chicken Flavored Vegetable Stew (10 Servings)
  • Hearty Potato Soup (10 Servings)
  • Macaroni & Cheese (10 Servings)

Day 2

  • Creamy Cinnamon Rice Pudding (10 Servings)
  • Cheddar Potatoes (10 Servings)
  • Black Beans & Rice (10 Servings)
  • Cheddar Broccoli Rice (10 Servings)

Day 3

  • Cheddar Cheese Grits with Green Chiles (10 Servings)
  • Chicken Flavored Vegetable Stew (10 Servings)
  • Creamy Cinnamon Rice Pudding (10 Servings)
  • Cheddar Broccoli Rice (10 Servings)

Very simple and easy preparation

All the entrees are designed to be made by simply adding water and simmering for 15-20 minutes. This means the most basic rocket stove or camp stove can be utilized. If you are a fan of fuel tablets, sterno, or candle stoves then this food bucket is a good choice for simple preparation.

Comfort Food

These are hearty and filling rations. There is a lot of dairy via cheese but no meat products in the bucket. It is good that Ready Project considered choosing comfort food style recipes for these rations. During a survival situation, the taste of cheese and high protein is a luxury that makes the situation a little easier to get through.


Suggested Uses

I think these are a great idea for those that are short on space and want to be prepared for a power outage or natural disaster. I remember what it was like to be in a catastrophic flood and having something like this on hand would have made life easier and I would have probably eaten better than some of the meals that we could throw together at the time when I was a kid.

Stretching Out The Bucket

2,100 calories per day is a lot. This bucket could easily last longer than what it says. Part of this depends on your physical activity level, temperatures that you are exposed to, and of course your size and age. I have no doubts that 2 people could easily live on this bucket for a week and not suffer even if working a bit extra.

72 hour american red cross bucket nutritional value

With a total of 33,600 calories, you could provide 3 people with 1,600 calories per day, which would be enough to survive. During an emergency, you may also need to think about throwing some things in the mix that won’t survive with a lack of refrigeration and how much this can add to the calories you have at your disposal each day.

Cost Per Person Per Day

Ready Project’s American Red Cross 72 Hour Food Supply Bucket comes out costing $6.25 per day per person. That is a good deal for the number of calories and variety of meals you are getting.

That means that even if you added in some extra dried fruits or meats you could have a good supply of easy to prepare meals and snacks for under $10 per day per person. Considering that a single convenience meal at a restaurant costs that or more in a lot of areas, this food bucket could be a good addition to your prepper pantry.

What I Would Add

Protein is important. There is a lot of cheesy products in this bucket which is fine by me but I would recommend adding either canned or dried meats and some fruit just for some variety. I know that I would get tired of eating so much potatoes and rice but I wouldn’t care so much about it being a lot of my diet if I had something to throw in it. Ready Project offers Mountain House dried meats.

Mountain House Ground Beef Cooked

Currently beef appears to be sold out on Ready Project’s site.

amazon product

This can offers 22 servings which adds up to the equivalent of about 4.88 lbs of fresh ground beef.  Sure you are paying the equivalent of $10 per lb when you buy this but in an emergency, this would add a lot of flavor. This would enable a family of 4 to have a serving of meat per day for 5 days and have a bit left over.

Canned Meats

Of course you can always just put back a few cans of tuna, canned chicken, beef, ect. and possibly save a little money. Watch out for how much water you are paying for. There should be a drained weight listed on most cans.

Conclusion: Is it Worth i?

This is not a bad deal for what you are getting. At $110 or so for this bucket, you are getting a lot of food security for your money. The smaller size makes it easy to stash a few of these in the back corners of your kitchen for an emergency.

If you know of friends or family that want to be a little more prepared or take the first steps towards having a good natural disaster plan, then have them take a look at this bucket.

Where to Buy? You can pick up this kit directly from the Ready Project here.

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11 Responses to “Review: American Red Cross 4 Person 72 Hour Food Supply Bucket”

  1. Sheesh, people, do some research! There are companies which offer storage foods for those with sensitivities, intolerances, allergies. Don’t shoot the messenger! Most long term storage foods are going to be higher in sodium than we might ‘think’ we could tolerate, it has to do with the storage. At least it isn’t MSG or things like that(but watch for that too). In stressful times, your bodies needs will be different than our present sedentary lifestyles. One will need more carbs, more electrolytes, when our bodies are working harder than most of us are used to. I do agree that the lack of protein in this bucket is bothersome, but can be easily remedied as the author suggests.

  2. I am diabetic and also have a slight problem with salt. I also cannot have anything with dairy products!!! I will have to make my own buckets from what I have in the house. Too many chemicals for my family. Would rather make my own packages for that reason!!

  3. Too much cheese! Lactose intolerant! A lot of the grab and go buckets would not work for me, also strawberries! there are 6 immediate family members that would go into anaphylactic shock from them. Must find a way to personalize buckets to suit my family!

  4. Interesting math…
    4 person for 3 days, right?

    but the 3 day menu shows each packet is 10 servings…
    So, either it’s a 3 day supply for 10 people OR each person eats 2.5 servings?
    I usually laugh at the serving/nutrition charts. 1/4 or 1/2 cup servings? and salt levels high enough to swell up most people that eat it. Heck, even my kids think some of these meal pouches are way to salty and the wife can’t even eat them because the sodium levels are so high.

  5. “Long shelf life”…I didn’t see anything defining that, including on the bucket. Any ideas? I suspect the dairy/cheese sauce will reduce the longevity of the basic components.

  6. I would love to see these kinds of products made to order. I can’t eat broccoli so this bucket would not work for me and I am sure there are others with food allergies that would love a ready to go emergency bucket.

  7. Ingredients please. Too many “survival foods” have toxic ingredients.
    Most will make people sick!

    • I haven’t found one brand that is good to eat. I am gluten free also which is another challenge.
      The only benefit is the convenience in having backup food, especially when the alternatives are to can foods (who has time to do that or even know how to do it), freezing it (who has this amount of room in their fridge), or dehydrating foods. Then add in gardening for fresh produce. It soon becomes overwhelming to make your foods and/or learn these skills. The survival foods I have found and I have looked at every brand probably, are full of toxic chemicals, sugar and salt overload and gluten. There are hidden chemicals under the name ‘natural flavors’ which is sneaky and can be harmful.

    • I agree. A parasite issue ca used my body became sensitive to gluten, dairy & preservatives, which makes one thinking about eating ANYTHING pre-prepared. Consequently I created my own boxes, thanks to Back Door Survival. Although it was more expensive, my family who isn’t GF can eat my kinda food. As for meat, we could eat that which is frozen for a few days if no electricity. After that it’s tuna, kippers, sardines and healthy protein powder.

    • Apologies for the incomplete sentence structure – so much for changing thoughts mid-stream! Anyway, have began planting seeds for an organic garden. Initially planned on inviting friends over to fill their baskets when produce is ready but decided to can and purchase a dehydrator; what’s left over will go to friends!

    • Actually, I am in the process of selling my home so I can buy a home with a basement and a backyard with a tall fence. Now that I decided to live off-grid as much as I can……this house no longer works for me. I want to build up my skills such as canning, dehydrating, aquaponics and more. But it all takes time plus storage space and gardening space. I started back in 2014 but this is a lifetime plan.

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