Let's take a quick look at the two options available to preppers.
Ready To Eat meals include MRE's, freeze dried meals (Mountainhouse etc.), canned meals (Beefaroni etc.).
There are some great advantages to these types of foods. First off, nothing more than a can opener is needed in regards to opening cans. For freeze dried meals, you will need a means of boiling water, but that's it. Great idea for the bug out kit and easy enough to live on for a short time. My car kit has a 3-4 day supply of this stuff, along with a can opener, solid fuel stove, and an old boyscout style mess kit. The down side is that this can get quite expensive to stock in large quantities. Not to mention the nutritional value is less than ideal to say the least. Now I'm not saying you need to avoid these all together for long term preps. These are great for quick meals while running around taking care of everything else that needs to be done.
Home cooked preps are much more feasable for long term situations, especially for families. Basically, open your pantry and see everything you have in there to make all those delicious home cooked meals. Now, go out and guy more of it....lots more. There are great sources of info on the net for storing these ingredients for long term. Couple that with regular use, and you have a built in rotation system. When you buy something, put it in the back of the shelf, when you use something, take from the front. There are however, some foods that do not store well, like cooking oil. Find and use as many alternatives to frying as you can. Also, look into lard and shortning, these usually store longer than your typical vegetable oil. With home cooked based prepping, you can eat healthier, build preps up faster in the long run, and when you really get your preps going, maintain a healthier diet for your loved ones for a longer period of time.