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5 Ways to Save on Funeral Costs

It’s not something anyone likes to think about, but at some point we will all be responsible for planning a funeral or memorial service for a loved one. Surprisingly, the average cost of a traditional funeral (which includes funeral home services, cemetery burial and headstone) in the U.S. ranges from $7-10-thousand dollars; an amount that can cause just about anyone to plunge into deep debt. But there are things you can do to lessen the financial burden of funeral costs.    Mourners gathered for an outdoor memorial service. Beautiful flowers in the foreground.

Explore Options

The ease and convenience of letting a funeral home take care of all the details is certainly appealing, but it is the most expensive option. You don’t have to go with the choices they provide. For example, Costco actually sells high quality caskets and urns at much lower prices than what funeral homes charge, and will deliver directly to the mortuary; usually the same day you order.

Look into Places of Worship

If your loved one is active in a church, synagogue or other house of worship, start by talking to the office there about what the options are. Often, there is no cost associated with having a service in a house of worship, and many even offer the option of hosting a luncheon or reception at the same location if they have separate meeting facilities.

Donate to a Medical School

Donating a body to science is a cost-effective — and compassionate choice. Staff from the school or research facility (be sure they hold proper accreditation) will take care of pick-up and transportation. After testing is complete, the cremated remains are returned to the family. All of this is done free of charge and you can feel good knowing the research they perform will help further medical and scientific knowledge.

Hold the Service Outside

There’s no rule that says a memorial service must take place indoors. Many people find tremendous comfort in remembering their loved one surrounded by the beauty of nature. Head to a beautiful park, beach, or hilltop and conduct the memorial there.

Have a Potluck Luncheon

The costs associated with a restaurant lunch following the service will add up very quickly. Instead, ask those attending the service to bring a favorite dish and have a potluck. Most people will be more than happy to help. In fact, many will probably plan to bring food without you even having to ask.

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