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Blog - frugal

Practical Ways To Reduce Funeral Costs


How can I save money on a funeral? It's a question we hear often...

A funeral is an incredibly tough, emotional event to arrange, and costs can quickly escalate and get out of hand. We have heard from many people who have borrowed money to cover the costs, money they could not afford. However, there are a few simple tricks than can dramatically reduce UK funeral costs.

The main thing to remember is that trying to reduce costs IN NO way means you care less about the deceased. ‘If you don’t spend a lot, this is a slight to the person’s memory’ is a message some areas of the funeral trade actively push in order to encourage people to spend more. This is an incredibly immoral practice and is so far from the truth. I’m positive if I was organising a funeral for someone close that has recently passed away, they would much rather I spent what I could afford and saved money where possible. It's important to decide on a budget and stick to it!

So how can the UK public look to reduce the costs involved in a funeral? Here are a few practical ways:

Shop Around

How many of us would buy the first car we saw? Or book the first holiday, without shopping around, or reading reviews? But that’s precisely what so many people do when organising a funeral.

We appreciate when someone close has passed away, most people won’t be thinking logically, and will want someone who will organise everything with as little input from them as possible.

However it is worth ringing a handful of funeral directors, and asking for basic costs of the elements for the funeral you want. Personal experience is also incredibly important as a bad funeral director can make an already difficult experience far worse. Spending an hour or two doing these simple things can make the whole process so much more comfortable, and can save literally thousands of pounds.


Do what you can yourself

From the cars, to the flowers, to the book of memorial, these are all things the funeral director can supply you with, but they will be adding a mark up to the price. So why not arrange and supply these yourself. You’d be surprised how much can be saved by asking the florist to provide flowers rather than the funeral home. Or even better, buy the flowers and do the arrangements yourself. Again, there is a pressure for overly-complicated expensive decorations that are used for a few hours. A simple, timeless design can be just a beautiful, and can significantly reduce costs.


Go green

Eco-friendly funerals are becoming more and more popular nowadays as we become more aware of the environment. The majority of funeral directors will have a green funeral option, and these are often significantly cheaper than a traditional service. People are always surprised at how pleasant and sympathetic eco-friendly funerals are, and they are the most sustainable option.

Plan the funeral during the week

Yes, we know a weekend funeral is more convenient, but choosing a weekday can prove significantly cheaper. Anything you are hiring for the funeral, such as a location for a wake, or the cars will be cheaper if you avoid the weekend.


Source the coffin or casket yourself

This is one of the easiest ways to save money when planning a funeral. Legally you can provide the coffin for a funeral yourself; you do not need to buy it from the funeral home. This can literally save thousands of pounds, such is the mark-up applied by funeral directors. There are a number of suppliers that will ship a coffin direct to your home or to the funeral directors. Caring Coffins sell coffins from just £350 which includes next day delivery. The average cost for a UK coffin is well in excess of £1,000, and so the savings can be significant.

Coffins are one of the main costs of the funeral. Be careful to avoid some of the lower-quality ones for sale, by using a trusted company, and your funeral costs can be dramatically reduced.

Alex Wilcox