5 Tips: How to save money when buying a funeral casket
Tasked with arranging the funeral services for a passed loved one? In addition to the sadness or mourning of the deceased, the added emotional and financial stress of planning a funeral can take a toll on you and the family.
Emotions are running high and putting life on pause to respect and remember the deceased and family during this time is at the forefront. The unfortunately case with all passings is that the funeral planning is one of those regrettable events one must also plan for quickly, while not breaking the bank and save money on the funeral planning.
If you’re tasked with planning a funeral, you’ll be taking into account hosting a respectful and beautiful funeral that honors the loved on, but also a timid balance of the financial costs and the taboo ties of being cost conscious when associate to honouring the deceased.
The costs of funeral should never be associated to the depth of honor or love of the deceased, but its human nature that many associate the two. Funeral costs are important and must be considered when arranging a funeral, especially considerations to the highest cost items the average a burial funeral places on the cost of a casket (or coffin), and the burial or cemetery plot.
To help those in planning a funeral and conscious of the costs, we’ve published the following tips when purchasing the big price tag of a funeral – the casket. These tips can help you save literally thousands of dollars on purchasing a casket, all while delivering a beautiful, honourable and respectful funeral.
Buy a casket direct or online
Over the last few decades in North America, buying a funeral casket has been direct through the funeral services or funeral home, who purchase direct from manufacturers as Batesville and Aurora and others. These traditionally had substantial markups passed onto the consumer and the cash-cow of funeral home services. But only within the last few years the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stepped in with the ‘Funeral Rule‘, which has helped dismantle the monopolized funeral industry to allow smaller casket retailers to sell caskets directly to the consumer, and mandate funeral homes legally must accept a consumers casket if purchased from a 3rd party. Thus when seeking to buy a casket and considering price and selection, the funeral home is often not the best option due to limited selections and traditionally higher prices that are difficult to compete when considering direct sales channels as the Internet and buying a casket online, for example.
There are two ways you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars when buying a casket. Buy direct from the manufacture, or buy online. Before you consider any purchase of a casket, its recommended you ask the funeral home or funeral service for their General Price List (GPL). It’s your legal right to ask for a General Price List (GPL) to estimate charges.
Without mentioning you may bring your own casket, you can get a real estimate of the cost for the casket, and shop accordingly. You are not obligated to pay for everything on a GPL; in fact, it’s itemized to facilitate your paying only for the services that you need.
For example, CasketandCoffin.com sells a variety of stainless steel, metal, wood and environmentally friendly caskets, shipped direct to you from the warehouse and manufacturer.
Buy a cheaper material
Tip: When you bury a casket, most caskets – just like the deceased, will go back to the earth. So when buying a casket, does it really matter the material? So may say so, but its a matter of preference. Those hosting a religious funeral may seek a casket with material that will quickly disintegrate with the loved-on and go back to the earth (ashes to ashes, dust to dust). But others who don’t share this view, may not place as much emphasis on the material. Either way, its important to remember that material determines price. A generic metal or wood casket is typically be the lowest cost casket, with prices well below $1000. From there, casket prices go up depending on the materials.
There are also cheap wood caskets (they’re still more expensive than standard metal caskets) and prices progressively increase. Finally, there are more exotic metals, such as copper, which will cost considerably more than other types of caskets. (We could talk about other, even more expensive metals. Except then we wouldn’t be talking about saving on caskets.)
If buying a metal casket, choose a 20-gauge casket
A 20-gauge casket uses metal about as thick as a stop sign, whereas an 18-gauge casket uses metal about as thick as a car fender. Because most 20-gauge caskets can handle the same weight expectations as an 18-gauge, there’s little practical reason to get an 18-gauge as opposed to a 20-gauge casket. Of course, if you decide to go with a 20-gauge casket instead of the 18-gauge, will that practically save money? Absolutely. Some basic 20-gauge caskets can be found for as low as $500.
Ornamentation and decoration is added cost
A simple casket, for its purpose, will do just as well as the most ornate casket. The latter will do no better in terms of preserving the body (and it’s illegal for companies to claim otherwise). That ornamentation costs money, and adds little to the actual burial of the person involved.
The more ornate, the more attractive the casket, the more expensive it will be. That cost needs to be weighed against the psychological and emotional needs of those close to the deceased. More often than not, however, it’s found that most people have few feelings towards the casket at all.
Besides, you will typically find consumers spend extra money on a casket for its ornaments, only to cover them at the funeral hall with flowers or personal memorabilia.
Take size into account
Most caskets are of a standard size, so it’s important to make sure that this is the right size for the deceased. Buying a casket that is too big or too small will either inflate or deflate the actual cost of the casket. Make sure that the body fits the casket you’re trying to purchase before you actually do so.
Bonus: Rent a casket
The casket will only be visible at the funeral hall viewing…if you elect to have a viewing. Some funeral homes will allow you to rent a beautiful casket for the showing or viewing, and then later switch the loved-on into a standard burial casket at much lessor cost ($100-$500) for the actual burial. Once the casket is in the ground – does it really matter how decorative it is?