The fortified peanut butter was great and worked better than Imodium if you had the bubble-guts or other gastrointestinal issues.I still love MREs for living out of a pack. Break them down out of the original bag and there is no wasted space, super hi calorie meals, tasty, and after a couple days eating them they make great, predictable, clean turds. The last feature is maybe the best feature and can't be appreciated enough.
And add a smoker!As others have said "good" and "cheap" don't generally come together for backpacking meals. If you're at least a couple trips a year on a consistent basis, I'd just invest in a dehydrator and start making your own. It is VERY easy and shouldn't be nearly as intimidating as it may sound.