Saving with 6abc: Save on funeral merchandise

(Saving with 6abc - Amy Buckman)

May 15, 2013 8:58:36 AM PDT
The average funeral these days costs somewhere between $7,000 and $10,000. That's a lot of money to be shelling out when a loved one dies and you're under emotional stress.

That's one reason why a Levittown, Pa., company is offering a new way to shop for and save on some of what you need for a funeral.

People have been pre-buying cemetery plots for years. But now, thanks to StoneMor Cemetery Products, that's not all you can buy before you need it.

Charlene Weber of StoneMor explains, "We have everything for a traditional burial. We have caskets in several different models, we have vaults, in several different models, and we have urns and cremation urns, and we also have the upright monuments. We have the bronzes, which are very popular, we have companion bronzes, and we have flat markers."

Weber says customers usually spend about an hour picking out a package of merchandise. They can even design their own grave markers using a computer design program.

The advantages are both economical and emotional.

"You're eliminating the emotional over-spending by pre-planning," she explains.

Right now, Stone-Mor's caskets run from about $1300 up to about $4000. Vaults sell for from $875 up to $1200.

That's still a lot of money, but chances are, they'll cost a lot more by the time you need them.

Weber says, "Our research shows that with inflation, these products can increase, double, every ten years. So if you wait 40 years, and it's $10,000, for a standard funeral, you could end up spending $40,000."

Stone-Mor works with most local cemeteries to make sure what you pick works with their rules. And state regulations ensure that the money you pay now is kept safe, even if Stone-Mor should go out of business. Plus, they offer three-year interest-free financing.

To request a planning kit from StoneMor, click here.

For more tips on saving on funeral expenses, also check out this Saving with 6abc story.