Funerals, like everything from paper towels to cars, come in cheap and expensive. It’s not as easy as you might think to figure out what qualifies as cheap when it comes to funerals. This is due, in part, because we don’t all have the same idea of what a “funeral” is. For some folks, a funeral includes a gathering of friends and family the evening before, a trip to the church with the body, a graveside committal service and a luncheon for all attendees following the burial.
When families begin to talk about the cost of a funeral, they need to include all the hardware (casket and vault) that goes with all these steps and sometimes the real estate (burial plot) as well. For sure, you know that what you choose to eat for lunch is going to make a difference in the price tag. So, the first thing a person needs to do when shopping for cheap funerals is have a talk with the decision makers in the family and decide what you are looking for in a funeral. What does your family want, need, and expect?
That done, you gotta know cheap is cheap. Think about those paper towels. You don’t have the same experience with the cheap paper towels as you do with ones that cost a bit more. If you are paying significantly less, you should expect less. Less staff with less education, less time spent with you and your family, less support. You should expect less to be included in the cost you were quoted and more to cost extra, over and above the cost you were quoted. So, in the end cheap funerals, like cheap paper towels (where you end up using twice as much), can cost MORE.
That does not mean that you can’t find a good value. Talk to your local funeral director. Instead of calling on the phone and asking, “How much does a funeral cost?”, call and ask for a meeting. Go in prepared with what you want in a funeral, share your budget. Be honest and clear about what you want and need. Also bear in mind, you aren’t really looking for cheap funerals – plural. You are looking for a one-time experience (one funeral) to honor the life of someone close to you. Look for value not cheap. If you are looking for a cheap funeral for yourself remember the funeral is for the living, the family and friends. The burial itself is the only part that is for the individual who died.