4 Ways to Save Money on Funeral Expenses.
As we have said over and over again - funeral directors charge grieving families too much money. There is absolutely no need or sense in overcharging a mourning individual other than for financial gain. It is sad, but true, and has been industry standard for many years. Finally, a small handful of companies, such as us, are fighting back on your behalf to show the public that it can be done. If, however, you decide to utilise one of the services of expensive funeral directors through family tradition or to keep your loved one closer to home, here is a few ways in which you can save money on the final bill.
1. Drive yourself
Funeral directors will often push for the use of limousines. They may use such terminology as "how many limousines do you require?" as opposed to "do you require a limousine?" These subtle tactics can often make families feel pressured into spending £200 extra on each limousine. We ask - Do you need a limousine? Would it not be more comfortable and convenient in your own vehicle? If you opt for a limousine, they will collect you from home and follow behind the hearse (which you can do in your own vehicle) and drop you off at the wake. Then, you have to ask for a lift or get a taxi home at the end of the event. It's much cheaper to have a designated driver.
2. Make your own Service Sheets
Another common expense are the service sheets or 'order of service'. They are a very efficient way for mourners to understand which part of the service is coming (especially in church services), an opportunity to place some lovely photos in them and an item that the attendees can take home to cherish. One drawback is that they are very expensive to have made. In our experience, many families have opted to make their own service sheets which have made them even more personal to the family.
The mystery behind embalming is commonplace and something that has gone back for many years. To be transparent, it is the replacement of blood from the body with chemicals which slow the process of deterioration. Families will often opt for this add-on because the funeral director has either informed them that it is a requirement (which it legally is not) or that they would advise it for the purpose of hygiene. If you are planning on visiting your loved one, embalming may be the correct choice - especially if you are planning on visiting often and over a number of weeks. If, however, you do not plan on visiting your loved one, it will not only save you £200-£300, but more importantly will save putting your loved ones body through such an invasive process.
Traditionally speaking, flowers are often thought of as an integral part of a funeral. We have had many families tell us that they feel they "have to have flowers" at their loved ones funeral, even in cases where the deceased did not like flowers! Some families choose to have many flowers and that is absolutely fine. If you would like to save a small fortune, however, perhaps think about just having a single flower for the top of the coffin and ask the rest of the mourners to put the money they would have spent towards a charity of your choice or one that is close to your heart.
As I type this, I think back to my Late Grandfathers wake. We had retrieved the one floral spray from the top of the coffin and brought it back to the wake with us. It sat in front of a wonderful board of old photo's from his life. At the end, my wonderful Nan asked us all if we would like to remove a couple of flowers from the spray to turn into a small bouquet or to press them once home and keep as a tribute. It was a wonderful idea and one that I have told many of my families about to lots of agreeing head-nods and note taking. Thanks, Nan!