Death is an inevitable reality of life, and planning for a funeral can be an emotionally draining task. Amidst the grief and loss, it is important to remember that funerals can be a significant financial burden on families. The cost of a funeral can vary widely, with casket price being one of the biggest expenses. This article will discuss the average expenses of funerals and casket cost, and also explore the options for cheap caskets.

Funeral expenses can be broadly categorized into three parts: professional services, merchandise, and cash advances. Professional services include the fees charged by funeral homes for services such as embalming, funeral director services, and transportation. Merchandise includes the cost of items such as caskets, urns, and burial vaults. Cash advances are the fees charged by third-party vendors such as florists, musicians, and officiants.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the median cost of a funeral in the United States was $7,640 in 2019. This cost does not include cemetery or monument costs, which can add several thousand dollars to the total. The median cost of a funeral has been steadily increasing over the years, with the 2019 figure being a 2.7% increase from 2014.

One of the biggest expenses at a funeral is the cost of a casket. The casket is the centerpiece of the funeral, and its price can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the material, design, and features. The NFDA estimates the median cost of a metal casket to be $2,500, while the median cost of a wood casket is $3,500. However, caskets made from more expensive materials such as bronze, copper, or mahogany can cost upwards of $10,000.

While the casket is an important part of the funeral, it is worth noting that it is not necessary to spend a lot of money on it. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandates that funeral homes must allow customers to use a casket purchased elsewhere, and cannot charge a handling fee for doing so. This means that families can shop around for caskets and find cheaper options online or from retailers that specialize in funeral merchandise.

Cheap caskets can be a viable option for families who are looking to save money on funeral expenses. The term "cheap" does not necessarily mean low quality, as there are many caskets available at affordable prices that are still made with quality materials and workmanship. Online retailers such as Trusted Caskets offer caskets at prices that are significantly lower than those charged by funeral homes. These caskets can cost anywhere from about $1100 to around $3,000, depending on the material and design.

There are also options for families who wish to use an eco-friendly casket that is biodegradable and made from sustainable materials. These caskets can be made from materials such as bamboo, wicker, or recycled paper, and are a good choice for environmentally conscious families. These caskets can be purchased from specialty retailers, and their prices are comparable to those of traditional caskets.

Another way to save money on funeral expenses is to opt for cremation instead of burial. Cremation is a popular choice for families who wish to have a simpler, more affordable funeral. According to the NFDA, the median cost of a cremation with a memorial service was $5,150 in 2019, which is significantly lower than the cost of a traditional funeral. Cremation also eliminates the need for a casket, which can save families several thousand dollars.