Using a National Cemetery, earned through your service, removes the cemetery charges, but not the funeral home’s.In a similar way, cremation removes the cemetery charges (actually, it replaces them with a much smaller crematory charge) but the funeral home will still charge you for the services they provide.Depending on what the family desires, those services may be similar, or cremation may be less expensive.Many people choosing cremation tend to choose other less expensive options, but some do not. There is nothing magic about cremation that makes it less expensive, other than those cemetery charges.For example, both will require the FH to go to the hospital to receive the body, hold it under refrigeration if embalming is not chosen, and transport it to either the cemetery or crematory. Those are the same. A minimum casket will be required fur burial, and a minimum cremation container for cremation. For that, cremation is perhaps a few hundred dollars cheaper.But many people choosing burial also want a service. Cremation folks may also choose that same service, but fewer do.So the end of the story is that - all choices being as equal as possible, cremation is probably slightly cheaper than a VA burial. But for most folks, they choose many more options with the burial, making an even wider gap.Of course, every firm sets its own prices. It once was very common that cremation services were heavily discounted, that is not as common as it use to be.One other thing:Following a cremation, you still need to decide what to do with the ashes. There may be free options, and others that run into the thousands. If it were my call, i would let the VA bury the cremated remains. That will pryoyr family with a place to go, with a marker. All treated with honor.I would think about having the Funeral Home do a cremation with only the legally required minimums. Then take the Urn and paperwork to the national cemetery, and have a memorial service at anywhere from your church to your backyard. Check with your national cemetry about how they will work with that.As a funeral director, i have speant my carrier in some of the most “high-end” firms in the country. We often do services well north of $50k, sometimes over $100k. I believe in what we do, and we work our butts off trying to be worth the money. Our reputation says we succeed in the eyes of our clients.But just because i may think that a Bentley is an incredible car, worth every dime, it doesnt follow that i think everyone should want one. I drive a Mazda 3 myself.There is a place for the spare no expense client, and a just-the-basics client. Both are honorable.I would suggest giving thought to that “basic cremation plus burying the ashes at the VA” as being the least expensive option, and possibly the best of both choices.