Burial Costs

When learning how much the average burial costs, many are shocked to discover the unexpected burial expenses throughout the interment process. A casket and resting place alone averages anywhere from $6000 to $8000 and that is before things like flowers and family gatherings are taken into account. Some families must limit funeral costs. While the cost of burial is lessened by choosing low cost funeral products and services, a concerted effort is required to achieve a cheap burial.

Burial Expenses and Prices

The Burial Plot

Although many recognize the need for a place to bury their loved ones, few know the burial plot cost. Grave plots in certain areas of cemeteries, such as on hilltops or in exclusive areas, are more expensive - The cost of burial plots starts around $1,000, although more affordable burial plots may be found in areas with very low property costs.

Opening and closing the grave

The cemetery hires workers to open and close a grave; the cost is usually more for weekends. The average price for this service is $500.

Burial Container

A burial vault is often necessary to prevent collapse of the grave. Burial vault prices range from as little as $200 to upwards of $10,000.

Burial Casket

The casket or coffin which contains the body of the deceased is oftentimes the most expensive part of a funeral. Burial caskets cost on average $2,000, but can go as high as $10,000. You can read more about the cost of burial caskets here.

A Grave Marker

grave marker is a separate, but significant, expense. The average gravestone cost is $1,500.


is needed to move the body from the place of death, and to the gravesite. $625 is spent, on average, for funeral transportation.

Upkeep of the gravesite

Grave upkeep fees are generally regulated by states, but may be imposed by cemeteries.

How to Reduce Burial Costs

There are many options for reducing the cost of burial. With the average cost of burial at several thousand dollars, it is no wonder people look for ways to save money. The best way to achieve a low cost burial is to plan ahead. Pre-planning and pre-paying allows people to make personal choices on caskets, services, and grave plots and pay for them in advance at current market costs. Consider a less expensive casket or a smaller gravestone to reduce burial costs. As always, the best way to manage costs is to shop around.

It is important to remember that you need only purchase the goods and/or service that you actually want. Let's say, for example, that you want a simple casket and a short viewing before burial. Do not allow a funeral home to try to convince you that you must take a full package in order to get the goods you desire. Every consumer has the right to purchase only the goods they wish to have.

  • Opt for a graveside service instead of using a funeral home
  • There are grants that offset the burial costs. Veterans can get burial assistance in the amount of anywhere from $300 to $2,000.
  • Many people are unaware that memorial associations exist all across the United States. For a small lifetime membership fee, these groups help you pre-plan your own funeral in the most appropriate and affordable way possible.
  • Instead of buying a burial plot, consider cremation, burial at sea, entombment in a mausoleum, and green burial.
  • You also have every right to purchase your casket elsewhere and have it delivered to the funeral home. The funeral home does not have the right to deny you the use of it or charge you a fee for using a casket that is not from their stock.

Saying goodbye to a loved one must be done with dignity and respect. Practical steps can be taken to ensure a cost-effective burial that maintains dignity and provides meaning.

July 20, 2018

By Rachel Schnebly