How to Find the Cheap Funerals in Australia

Saving money on a funeral

You’re on the lookout for a funeral, but you don’t want to break the bank. Spending a small-fortune on a funeral is not something everyone can afford. Nor is it something that everyone wants. What do we mean by that? No one wants to depart this earth and leave their family in financial stress on top of grief. People often ask their family to spend as little as possible on their funeral and some even state this in their will. 

The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter how much you spend on the funeral of a loved one. Spending more does not signify a greater love. Just as spending less does not signify a lower a lesser love. Making the arrangements for someone’s funeral irrespective of cost is the ultimate display of respect. Let’s take a look at the options available for someone seeking an affordable funeral in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne or Perth.

Let us share a couple of secrets with you on how to find the cheapest funerals in Australia with reputable local funeral directors. In this guide we are going to cover:

  1. The cheapest types of funeral services available in Australia
  2. Gifting the body to a university for research
  3. Where to look to find the cheapest funeral directors
  4. Things to consider about a funeral without all the fuss

1. Which type of funeral is best for a budget?

It is true that certain types of funerals are more expensive than others. Traditionally a burial is going to be more expensive than a cremation. But what are your choices for the cheapest option for both burial and cremation?

If you are looking for a burial service you will find there are affordable burial packages available from all sorts of funeral directors. Inclusions will vary but it is most likely that the company will be offering what is known as a ‘single-service burial’. This means that instead of having two service components (ie. one at the church and one by the grave) – there will only be one service and it is probably grave-side. This type of burial is more affordable without the costs associated with the traditional church service.

Cremations are lower in cost and come with more flexibility. They are so popular that we’ve written a full guide on cheap cremations to cover that topic entirely. When it comes to cremation there are two main options, the first is called a ‘single-service’ cremation. This much like the burial above will only have one service and that is generally held at the crematoria chapel. Costs are kept down by avoiding the overheads of hiring a venue, catering and transport for a church service. The second option is called a direct cremation or an unattended cremation

While a cheaper funeral might have less inclusions, it can have some unexpected benefits. Direct cremation or no-service funerals are the most basic of funerals that actually come without a funeral. The loved one is cremated and ashes are returned to the family as soon as possible. It is common for families to perform their own memorial service at a beach, park or any place that was significant to the loved one.

2. Gifting the body to a university for research

Certainly not a common suggestion as it isn’t really a funeral. However gifting the body to a university for research is a wonderful gesture. It is a way of giving back to the community through research. It is also a very low-cost option for a cremation as some universities will subsidise if not contribute 100% to the cremation price.

One cheap funeral option is the gifting of your loved one to a university for research.
One cheap funeral option is the gifting of your loved one to a university for research.

The University of Queensland Body Donor Program can take your loved one into care and cover the cost of a cremation. QUT have a similar program also. So it is worth checking with your local universities about the programs they have for gifting your loved one for research.

Most universities prefer to have arrangements made before the death. As it is crucial that they take your loved one into their care as soon as possible after the passing. This can be difficult to arrange if the death was unexpected or sudden, or if the body has been in the care of the coroner.

It is important to consider that this option is not for everyone. This is a decision that must be made by the whole family. Everyone’s input must be considered. The whole family must decide if this option is right for your loved one. Particularly if there were no instructions left behind by the loved one.

3. Where to look to find the cheapest funeral directors

Here is one of the secrets – most funeral directors that market themselves in the affordable range will have a low-price package. It is not something they usually include on their website or advertise to the public. But you can request quotes from funeral directors asking them for their lowest priced package. The best way to get their lowest price is to ask for a:

  • No service no attendance (Sydney)
  • Direct cremation (Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth)
  • Unattended cremation (Brisbane)
  • No service funeral (Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney)
  • Cremation only (Brisbane, Perth)
All of these terms are for the same thing. The language used from state to state does vary a little which is why we include them all for you. By knowing what to ask for you’ll appear well researched and savvy to the funeral company.
Use our website to create a list of funeral directors to get cheap prices from.
Use our website to create a list of funeral directors to get cheap prices from.

Now that you know what to ask, you can begin creating a list of funeral companies to contact for funeral quotes. You can use our website for a list of local companies to contact or search for funeral homes in your area.

On our homepage you’ll find our quick-links to the capital cities in Australia. From there you can click the List or click the icon of a brand you recognise the view their contact details. Our navigation bar can also point you in the right direction. All you need to do is select your nearest Australian city.

When you contact the funeral directors you may be encouraged to consider a different package. You can say no, or you can ask them to kindly send both for your consideration. Remember there is nothing undignified about choosing a budget final disposition. There are plenty of wealthy families prefer direct / unattended cremations.

4. Considerations for a fuss free funeral

It’s not all about money. Some people don’t want all the fuss of a funeral. They want their family and friends to be able to say goodbye in a way that they feel is special to them. It’s more about the turning away from tradition and having a farewell that is without the extravagance of a traditional church farewell.  

It is important to consider that choosing this farewell may not be in the best interest of grieving family and friends. Closure is a significant part of grief management which is why a full service funeral exists. It’s why thousands of church services are performed every year. They bring solace to mourning friends and family shattered by a recent passing.

Removing the stigma of cheap funerals

Every year more and more families are turning to affordable funerals. This is evident by the increase in direct cremations in Brisbane since 2016.

As we have established in this guide there are plenty of reasons why everyday Australians choose a cheap funeral. Just spend time discussing it with your family and friends before committing, and consider ways to help them with grief in the absence of a church service.

If you have any questions about finding the cheapest funerals in Australia please email us at


Find more helpful funeral information by clicking a related topic below.

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