Before spending thousands of dollars at the funeral home and cemetery, check to see if the decedent qualified for free funeral items from the government.  Why pay for something the government is willing to provide for free?  After all, the decedent has already earned it!

Many military veterans are eligible for free grave spaces and headstones.

You can search online for information about military benefits or check out section five of the Funeral Saver’s Kit.  It'll show you which services and goods are provided at no cost by the U.S. government and how to claim your benefits.

Note: be aware of so-called “free grave” scams that are sometimes offered to veterans.  This is where the veteran is offered a free grave site, but upon death, the family has to pay an unusually high price to have the grave site dug.

Watch out for scams

Because many surviving spouses want to be buried next to their deceased spouse, the cemetery may also double the price of all surrounding graves.  This allows the cemetery to make up any profits lost on the veteran's "free" grave.

Not surprisingly, these scams end up costing surviving spouses and children thousands of unexpected dollars every year.

If you would like to save money the next time you need to make funeral arrangements, you can search and compare local funeral home pricing at

See what a funeral costs in these popular cities:

Atlanta | Austin | Boston | Chicago | Dallas | Denver | Detroit | Honolulu | Houston | Los Angeles | Miami | Minneapolis | New York | Philadelphia | Portland | Sacramento | San Diego | San Francisco | San Jose | Seattle | Washington, DC