Seven Ways to Save Money on Funerals
1. Compare funeral costs: Start by requesting price lists from several funeral homes, or by checking their websites. The Federal Trade Commission requires that funeral homes provide their General Price List to anyone making a request, as well as the prices of their caskets and outer burial containers (also known as vaults). Prices for the same products and services can vary considerably between funeral homes. Look for funeral homes that publish their prices on their website for easy comparison. (Note that many are reluctant to do so.)
2. Shop for a gravesite: Without exception, burial plots in public and church cemeteries are significantly less expensive to purchase and to have a grave opened and closed compared to corporate-owned cemeteries that exist to make a profit.
3. Write a concise obituary: A way to save hundreds of dollars on a funeral is to greatly reduce the length of the obituary published in the newspaper or eliminate it completely. Obituaries are routinely $500 or more depending on the length and rates of the publication. Instead, publish the obituary and service information of the funeral home website and/or social media.
4. Don’t overpay for a casket: Another way to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a funeral is to consider the cost of the casket. Casket costs range greatly depending upon the type of metal or wood used in construction, interior fabric, ornamentation, and intricacy. For many families, a simple casket is just what their loved one wanted. Outer burial containers or vaults also vary in price depending upon construction features.
5. Eliminate embalming: Embalming is only required by state law under certain conditions. Family members are permitted to have a viewing without embalming, followed by a graveside service. In addition, a memorial service or gathering can be held at a church or other venue without the assistance of a funeral home.
6. Avoid prime time: To save money on a funeral, avoid having services on weekends, holidays, or late in the evening. Some funeral homes, cemeteries, and vault companies charge premium prices for such times. Try to arrange services for Monday through Friday before 3 PM to save hundreds of dollars.
7. Plan your funeral in advance: Prearranging and prefunding funeral arrangements can save money on a funeral in a couple of ways. It allows families to compare costs and make important budget decisions before the time of loss and grief has created heightened emotions. This allows the buyer to make wise and rational decisions. Also, paying for services and merchandise in advance can guarantee there will no additional charges for those items at the time of need.
Simple Funerals Inc. is located in Manheim, PA, Lancaster County and offers lower-cost burial options for families who want to save money on a funeral or are seeking a simplified approach to burial services. The prices of our most popular service packages, which include reasonably-priced caskets and burial vaults, are published on our website. Simple Funerals always provides compassionate service to families at need, or those who wish to plan a funeral for the future.