Direct cremation: 5 ways it can save you money on funeral costs

Affordable Cremation Services

What is a direct cremation?

Direct cremation is the funeral trade term for a simple or basic cremation in which no ceremony or services are provided by the funeral home.  The deceased is simply collected and cremated, and the cremated remains are returned directly to the family.

It is the least expensive disposition option that a funeral provider can offer a family, and it will be listed on a funeral home’s General Price List (GPL), but generally at the very bottom!  A direct cremation is not generally what the funeral director wants to sell you unless that is if he specializes in offering direct cremation services.

Affordable Cremation Services

How much is a direct cremation service?

This will depend upon the funeral services provider you select and your area.  Many metro city areas are becoming increasingly competitive for the cremation market, so cremation prices are accordingly priced.  In most U.S. cities, arranging a cremation for around $1,000, or slightly under or over, is possible.

Funeral service providers determine what price they wish to set their GPL at to make the profit margin they need to cover their overhead and stay in business. So, some providers are more expensive than others, as with other service providers. Those that are corporate-owned and, therefore, have shareholders to report to tend to focus on ‘upselling’ a service or product for the incremental sales that can be garnered.

One important thing to do is to determine if you ARE dealing with an independent funeral business or a corporate funeral business.

So, how will you save money by arranging a direct cremation?

What is a direct cremation?#1  The price for a direct cremation is the lowest cost disposition service offering

A direct cremation is the least expensive disposition option you have.  If you have financial concerns over the cost of arranging a funeral, then opting for a direct cremation will help you still have control over arranging a dignified disposition without worrying about a huge cost. 

The cost of a direct cremation does vary by area and service provider. Still, in high cremation rate states, such as Arizona, Washington, Nevada, and Florida, a direct cremation can be conducted for as little as $695.  In many other large metro areas, the price for a direct cremation is still under $900. 

Use our Local Affordable Provider Search to find low-cost direct cremation providers and prices near you.

#2  You do not have to arrange a funeral or memorial immediately

Taking care of the immediate need to dispose of the body in a timely manner can alleviate the added costs involved in gathering the family together at short notice to conduct a funeral service.  Especially today when more families are spread apart.  Attending a funeral can be a cost that involves traveling costs and time off work.

So, arranging a direct cremation to be conducted and then family planning to come together to conduct a memorial at a time and place that suits them can save money all around.

#3  You can conduct your own memorial or personalized life celebration event

Once the direct cremation has been conducted and the cremated remains returned, a family can choose to hold their own personalized memorial service.  They do not need a funeral director for this; it can be a significant way to save on funeral costs.  You can hold a memorial service anywhere that seems befitting to the deceased and in any way that would pay tribute to the deceased.

#4  All arrangements can be made without even needing to visit a funeral home

Arrange a cremation online

If you opt to arrange a direct cremation, all arrangements can be made online or by phone. There is no need to visit the funeral home.

Many modern funeral service providers now offer dedicated online arrangement services, and some even offer an additional discount for arranging online. Arranging online saves the funeral staff time, which can be passed on to the family.

Not having to visit a funeral home can also save you time and money….and make the process less overwhelming. Obviously, if the deceased happens to be in another state, this makes the process much easier without the costs of traveling.

#5  You can purchase an urn online to save on costs

With a direct cremation, the cremated remains are generally returned in a temporary cremation container.  This is how costs are kept down.  You can opt to purchase a cremation urn online, which can help save on your overall costs. Cremation urns can be bought online from discount providers for as little as $29.99.

So there are 5 reasons why arranging a simple, no-fuss direct cremation can help you save on money and stress when you need to make funeral arrangements, especially if you have financial restraints on what budget the family has to spend on funeral services!

Search Local Providers to find low-cost cremation nearby.

Sara Marsden

I have been researching and writing about the death care industry for the last fifteen years. End of life services and experiences are something most of us choose not to reflect upon until we are suddenly faced with dealing with it. I have been contributing comprehensive and independent resources for families that explain how the funeral industry operates, and the laws that govern funeral practices. Sara writes for US Funerals Online and DFS Memorials LLC, as well as contributing to other forums and publications for the death care industry. I have a BA in Cultural Studies. This helps my analysis of cultural death care rituals, alongside a career background in Business Management. The death care industry is undergoing an epoch of change and this fascinates me.

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