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Woolworths vs Coles: Price of popular meat dropped to lowest since 2013 - but which is cheapest?

Aussie shoppers are the big winners in the supermarket wars, but who has the best value lamb?

Woolworths has reduced the cost of lamb ahead of Christmas to help Aussies “spend less this festive season” but how do the price drops compare to what you can get at rival Coles?

A lamb roast on a Sunday is about as iconic as chops sizzling away on a summer’s day barbecue, and Aussie shoppers are set to benefit from a price reduction on 26 different products from Woolworths.

Since publication, Coles has advised it will also be dropping the price of lamb from the same date so if you were going to buy some today, hold off because cheaper prices will be on deli shelves from this Wednesday.

So, how much cheaper is it? And is it the most competitive price out there?

Two legs of lamb from Coles and Woolworths in front of a deli with a vs sign
Coles and Woolworths are going head-to-head over their price of lamb in the latest supermarket wars. But where is cheaper? (Credit: Yahoo Finance au)

Coles and Woolies rivalry has paid off for consumers who are reaping the benefits of recent price drops. You can read about their battle for the cheapest ham here. And how to leverage promises of feeding a family of eight for under $100 here.

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Lamb leg roast will drop from $10 a kilogram to $8, which Woolies said was “the lowest promotional price on lamb leg roasts since February 2017 and the lowest regular price on lamb since June 2013”.

A half leg roast from Coles would have set you back $10 a kilogram but it's also being dropped to $8 a kilogram. The supermarket has noted on its website the price was significantly higher at $20.88 a kilogram in September.

Woolworths are keeping these lamb prices until December 27, while Coles is into January.

Lamb forequarter chops

Coles: $12.50 per kilo (was $16)

Woolworths: $12.50 per kilo (was $16)

Cheapest: Tie

Lamb leg roast

Coles $8 per kilo (was $8)

Woolworths: $8 per kilo (was $10)

Cheapest: Tie

Lamb mince

Coles: $11 per kilo (was $14)

Woolworths: $11 per kilo (was $14)

Cheapest: Tie

Lamb cutlets

Coles: $33 per kilo (was $43)

Woolworths: $34 a kilo (was $43)

Cheapest: Coles

Lamb loin chops

Coles: $18 per kilo (was $28)

Woolworths: $22 per kilo (was $28)

Cheapest: Coles

Some of the price drops included - like lamb steak and shanks - were among the 450 products already reduced in the “Prices dropped for Spring” campaign - which was followed by Coles slashing the price of 500 products.

The moves were both made in the name of reducing costs for Australians gripped in the cost-of-living crisis and with Aussies planning to fork out an average of $249 each on food this Christmas, according to research from Finder, it appears the price battle will remain an important one for consumers.

We will be keeping a close eye on good value Christmas options at Yahoo Finance so keep tuning in.

But in the meantime, here's some tips for how you can start saving, with a step-by-step guide for what you can do each week right down to a week out from the big day.

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What's going on with the price of lamb in Australia?

Well, there are about 79 million of sheep across the country and the wholesale price has dropped 9.5 per cent since last year, after record highs.

Agricultural market analyst Matt Dalgleish told of Episode 3 told Yahoo Finance there was a “complex situation” at play, driving down the saleyard pricing, which had only just started to trickle down to consumers.

The wet weather over the past year meant there was more feed for livestock and, therefore, more breeding. But now, conditions are drying up and there’s a desire to sell off large heads of livestock amid fears of a drought. But labour issues and the rising cost of processing and transporting meat has caused “bottle necks” and put pressure on that supply chain.

“It’s not the normal seasonal sell-off we are seeing. We are heading toward a drier time with El Nino, and farmers have responded by reducing their holdings of cattle or sheep, so that means an extra supply of meat,” Dalgleish said.

With 70 per cent of Australia’s lamb going overseas, there’s no shortage of demand, but the “short-term issue of processing” has been impacting the industry.

Dalgleish predicted Australians wouldn't see a rise back to the record highs but “pricing will creep back up to the longer-term average”.

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