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Budgeting For The Beyond: Finding Affordable Yet Quality Burial Caskets

Casket

We can say with almost full confidence that even though the death of a loved one is inevitable and it's a certain part of life that we'll each have to go through at some point, we can never truly be ready for it or get past this painful experience unscathed.

The overwhelming sadness, emptiness, despair, and other heartwrenching emotions consume us. Still, we must carry on, so giving a proper burial for even a small sense of closure is essential.

However, a proper burial can be financially challenging as much as it is emotionally since funeral arrangements or planning is the most significant and demanding part of bidding farewell.

Traditional funerals are never easy for the families of the deceased, yet it has to be done either way. On that note, buying caskets for burials is a necessary element and maybe the most financially challenging one compared to the rest.

In addition, selecting the perfect affordable yet quality burial caskets can even be a bigger challenge to those who are new to experiencing this phase in life since casket prices range from a few thousand dollars to more and choosing the wrong one could add an unnecessary burden on your financial affairs while mourning.

Whether you're pre-planning your funeral or arranging a funeral for your loved one, here's everything you need to know about finding the most affordable yet quality caskets. But first...

Are Caskets The Same As Coffins?

Most people use the terms interchangeably, and while both a coffin and a casket serve the same purpose of resting your loved one's deceased body, there are noticeable differences.

If you look at a coffin and a casket, the shape and some unique features will surely give it away. While a casket usually has four sides and is rectangularly shaped, an average coffin will likely have six or eight sides that are tapered at the feet and shoulders, which mirror the shape of an actual human being.

More differences between coffins and caskets would be the price and their purpose. A European coffin sometimes features a window at the front, closed by a glass, letting people see the deceased to pay their respects and for the last time during the memorial service, before the burial.

On the other hand, unlike a coffin, caskets are made with lids, full couch and half couch, that can split open in half, showing the part of the deceased, which is usually the face and a part of the body, for people to view the lost soul for the last time.

The choice between a coffin and a casket depends on the traditions and customs that are followed based on countries, and while a coffin is cheaper than a casket, they are not as popular in America as a casket.

What To Look For In An Affordable Yet Quality Burial Caskets?

There are myriad things to consider before you purchase quality caskets that align with your budget.

Depending on where you're buying your casket from, online or from funeral homes, the casket price list may range usually from $ 1,000 to $ 8,000. Here are some factors to consider before you make your purchase. The casket prices are different in different places; online casket providers usually offer way more affordable prices compared to funeral home prices. It's not rare for a funeral home to buy caskets from a casket company that has direct manufacturers or owns a factory.

The Materials

Burial caskets are usually made from a number of materials such as wood, bamboo, cork, metal, banana leaf, oak, walnut, maple, cherry, mahogany, etc. While mahogany, maple, cheery, oak, and walnut may come with some of the most expensive casket prices, wood, and metal caskets are often the most common, durable, and cost-effective ones you'd find.

The Inside

The most chosen interiors on burial caskets are usually crepe, satin, or velvet since they symbolize luxury, respect, and comfort for the deceased's remains.

However, interiors such as Velvet often come with a hefty price, while crepe or cotton is considered the most affordable option.

Finishing

If you plan on cutting costs when buying burial caskets, you'd need to consider the finishes and casket colors. Most caskets come with precious metal plating or high-gloss, which can add to the overall costs.

To minimize the overall spending, you can choose a more affordable yet quality burial casket with standard finishes like painted or satin finishes.

Casket Hardware

Hardware such as hinges, handles, nameplates, ornamentation, and emblems should also be taken into consideration.

While you want the best of the best for your deceased loved ones, highly decorated or costlier hardware may break the bank, so the option is to opt for practical and more standard hardware if you're on a tighter budget.

The Perfect Casket Size

Sometimes, online casket companies you're purchasing the casket from or your funeral home have options for customization on size if the deceased's body has unique requirements, this most likely would add some additional casket costs as well.

While the casket cost might be more than when buying a standard casket, ensure that it's the perfect size to avoid any necessary expenses. It is always a good idea to ask your funeral director about the casket size you need.

Checking The Prices

Since the casket prices or cost must align with your budget, make sure to compare the prices from the places that are selling directly to you. Meaning, while funeral homes are usually costlier, sometimes third-party retailers or online retailers can charge you hefty prices depending on the extra hardware or materials you need.

The prices can also increase depending on the shipping charges of your location. The best cost-effective solution is to pick one burial casket and compare it between sellers. According to the  The FTC Funeral Rule, any funeral home must accept funeral merchandise if the customer buys it elsewhere.

The Types Of Caskets Available

While the price ranges of burial caskets usually depend and differ on the place you buy them from, including a funeral home and online retailers, a critical component when it comes to the prices of caskets would be the materials used.

That said, two of the most common caskets people often call the perfect casket are made of metal and wood. However, the title may vary depending on the preferences of the buyers. Here are the types of caskets available for you to choose from:

Wooden Caskets

Wood caskets are primarily one of the most chosen caskets, and they usually come in solid hardwood, softwood, or veneer. The hardwood caskets are usually durable and tend to be more expensive than the rest of the wood caskets.

Caskets made of Hardwood like cherry, walnut, maple, oak, and mahogany have extremely rich and elegant appearances with a more premium finish, also offering natural beauty, but are often not on the affordable casket price list, and sometimes even called expensive caskets.

On the other hand, softwood caskets are made with redwood, pine, cedar, or old-style pine box, and these types of caskets usually offer a more natural and warm appearance and, at the same time, are more affordable and cost-effective.

There are also veneer caskets that are created using thin layers of top-quality wood veneer, which is applied over a slightly inexpensive wood core. On top of making the caskets look attractive, they create the image of a solid wood appearance. These casket prices are mostly inexpensive compared to expensive hardwood caskets, and they are still High-Quality.

Metal Caskets

Much like wood caskets, metal caskets are also one of the popular choices in the market today. They come in various options like steel caskets (most common), stainless steel, copper, bronze, and a copper-bronze combination.

Among these options, the bronze and copper caskets are known to have a much heftier price tag since they tend to be more durable, long-lasting, and have rust-tolerance properties.

However, you'd mostly find these types of metal caskets during high-end funeral services rather than normal ones since the price may not be affordable for everyone.

This is why Steel caskets are one of the most popular choices, not only due to their durability but also their affordability. They usually come with different thicknesses, known as gauges, and 18- and 20-gauge steel are the standard metal caskets.

In addition, most 18-gauge caskets have much-rounded corners, great hardware, and better interior material, offering one of the best protection.

All these types of metal caskets can usually be customized with myriads of finishes, and some of them come with a rubber gasket, which prevents outside elements, such as dust, etc., from entering.

Biodegradable Or Eco-Friendly Caskets

eco-friendly caskets

If you're an individual who is hugely concerned with the environment, affordable caskets like biodegradable or eco-friendly caskets are hugely popular in recent times.

Biodegradable caskets purchased usually do not contain any metal parts and are made from recyclable materials such as organic cotton, recycled paper, willow, cardboard, bamboo, etc

Often used during green burials, most funeral homes usually carry these types of caskets, but you can also choose to purchase them from online retailers. The price may differ, and online is cheaper than a funeral home.

However, online purchases may be costlier depending on your location due to shipping fees.

Rental Caskets

As the name suggests, a rental casket is not always a cost-effective solution for families that want a traditional funeral service, including cremation, but cannot afford an expensive casket yet still want to host a proper funeral service instead. Buying a cremation casket from casket companies like Trusted Caskets can often be more cost-effective than rental caskets from funeral homes(some models can also be used for traditional burial).

This means rental caskets are also called cremation caskets, and their primary purpose is to offer families an alternative container for the deceased's body during funeral or viewing services.

How these caskets work is the deceased's remains or body is laid on a container or box and then placed in the rental casket to appear like the body is inside actual caskets.

After the families and loved ones are done with the various services, the body that is placed in the container is removed from the casket before it is taken to the cremation chamber.

Funeral homes usually provide rental caskets and handle everything, including the funeral or viewing services, removing the deceased for cremation, etc.

Cremation Casket

These affordable caskets are usually known as cremation containers and are designed specifically to fit the needs of the cremation processes. They have simpler designs when compared to the rest of the caskets, and it's usually made of wood such as particle board, pine, oak, pressed wood, or even cardboard (alternative containers)

That said, most lower prices on creation caskets are made from cardboard and are well sturdy enough for the entire cremation process. However, although searching for cremation caskets with a lower price might be the goal, make sure it's rigid enough, nontoxic, leak-proof, and don't contain any metal parts.

Do It Yourself (DIY) Caskets

Building your own casket for your deceased loved one or preparing for your own funeral using inexpensive materials might be one of the greatest ideas for owning a quality yet affordable burial casket.

Not only does constructing a casket yourself build a bond and activate healing for your grief-stricken heart, but you can also customize it by imagining the personality of the recently passed, creating a personalized tribute while being cost-effective and unique.

FTC Funeral Rule

There are plenty of DIY instruction kits online or in various bookstores that will help you create a casket from scratch while spending half the price compared to buying a casket with hefty prices.

However, in case you're wondering if your funeral home accepts casket purchased or DIY ones, you'd be happy to know that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) The FTC Funeral Rule requires any funeral home and funeral providers to accept caskets purchased from anywhere.

Choose Your Preferred Casket Provider

As we've mentioned, since caskets come in a range of prices depending on the materials used, you'd need to compare each seller's prices before you decide to purchase one.

Regardless, here are some of the most convenient ways you can buy a burial casket:

  • Online- Buying a casket online comes with convenience, and most well-renowned stores like Trusted Caskets, including many other major brands, are known to sell affordable yet quality burial caskets, making the option of buying online popular in recent times.

  • Funeral Homes- While it may not be as cheap compared to most options if you want a hassle-free transaction and get it instantly, funeral homes might be one of your best choices. In addition, certain laws from the Funeral Rule protect you against fraud, and you can check the price list of the chosen caskets before you purchase them.

  • Local Retailers- Another option you can take while buying your casket is local retailers in your area. While they may not be affiliated with any funeral homes, much like the DIY caskets, you can purchase from them and use them without any disapproval.

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