Cheapest supermarket this Christmas
THE numbers have been crunched and if keeping the Christmas dinner as cheap as possible is your priority, then get thee to Aldi.
Consumer organisation Choice has said that in a Santa's sack of Christmas goodies, the German-owned retailer comes up trumps - though there is a small catch.
Adding up the bill for 22 items, Aldi was cheaper by a not-to-be-sniffed-at $30 or about 14 per cent.
But Choice said the difference between Aldi and Coles and Woolworths was narrowing. Also, the two Aussie-owned supermarkets had a bigger range, with some items in their basket not available to Aldi.
Choice's Christmas list included a half leg ham, frozen turkey breast, smoked salmon, cooked prawns, brandy snaps, raspberries, cream, a wedge of creamy brie and even some wrapping paper and tinsel.
At Aldi, the shopping bill rang up at $175.16; Coles came in second at $205.24 and Woolworths a touch behind at $207.30.
"Choice's team looked at comparable products across Coles, Woolworths and Aldi and found that the gap in price has closed a little bit this year," said Choice spokesman Jonathan Brown.
Year on year, Aldi's basket has actually come down by $2. The Christmas bill at Coles has increased by about $5, according to Choice's figures, while Woolworths' total has come down by about $10 between 2017 and 2018.
"Last year there was a significant difference between Aldi and Woolworths and this year we've found the difference between Coles and Woolworths negligible," Mr Brown told news.com.au.
Choice had hoped to put candy canes and baubles in the basket, but as they couldn't find them in Aldi they left those items out for all retailers.
He said while Aldi had come up cheaper, other factors might be more important to some customers.
"If you want to save some time and get online orders or delivery, Coles and Woolworths may be worth the extra expense and we did find a bigger range at them," Mr Brown said.
"While we didn't test for quality, this is often a subjective measure - it's important to remember that brands do impact how we perceive products. You never know, without the packaging, your kids might never know the difference."
A Coles spokesman told news.com.au the firm has lowered prices for "nine consecutive years" and an average annual household food and liquor spend today would be $1300 cheaper compared to 2009.
"This year Coles has unveiled its biggest and most delicious Christmas yet, with more than 150 new and improved products to provide a new twist on the classic Christmas."
A Woolworths spokeswoman said the firm was committed to providing customers with choice at Christmas.
"We know every dollar counts and work hard to offer great value across our customers' total shop."
According to research by the Australian Retailers Association, shoppers will spend $21 billion on food in the run up to Christmas, an increase of 3.7 per cent on last year.
Choice's Christmas basket
•Half leg ham (closest to 5kg)
•Turkey breast roast, frozen (1kg)
•Smoked salmon (200g)
•Australian tiger prawns, cooked (1kg)
•Christmas pudding (700g)
•Fruit mince pies (6 pack)
•Brandy snaps (8 pack)
•Raspberries, frozen (500g)
•Thickened cream (600mL)
•Brie (125g or closest)
•Mixed nuts, dry roasted (375g or closest)
•Mixed nuts in shell (550g or closest)
•Chocolate coins (150g)
•Favourites chocolates (320g)
•Mars Celebrations Tub (692g)
•Lindt balls or equivalent (150g or closest)
•Christmas cards (10 pack)
•Christmas gift wrap (single roll, 5m)
•Tinsel (3m or closest)
•Outdoor LED fairy/icicle lights (250 pack or closest)
•Christmas crackers/bonbons (12 pack or closest)