4 ways to elevate your summer meals on a budget

Jun 23, 2023

Now that sunny days are here, the urge to make the most of summer is on. One thing that gets me inspired to do summer right is the launch of the PC® Insiders Report™ - Summer Edition. I just had my first BBQ of the season with new, must-try PC® products that wowed my guests. They were impressed by the unique flavours and that I stuck to my budget. I’ll let you in on my secret to stretching your budget further all summer long. It starts with earning PC Optimum™ points¹ on every dollar you spend, everywhere you shop with your PC Financial® card. Once I earn enough points, I redeem² them toward free stuff at participating stores to supplement my spending. Here are my tips to make the most of your summer with fresh ideas for meals, activities, and entertainment while sticking to your budget.

1. Simplify your summer meals and hosting.

I don’t know about you, but I’m much more spontaneous in the summer—I’ll decide on the day of to host friends for dinner or turn a coffee date into an all-day picnic. And this season’s new PC® products make summer meals super easy so you can spend less time planning and meal prepping and more time enjoying yourself. Craving a light summer salad? Try the new PC® Mango & Calamansi Citrus Grilling Raw Shrimp Skewers—just grill and place them on a bed of your favourite seasonal veggies and they’re ready to serve. Hosting a BBQ? Other grilling essentials include the PC® Carolina Gold Sauce Pork Back Ribs, PC® Smokin’ Stampede™ Corn Ribs—they’re bite-sized corn on the cob pieces that come pre-seasoned, frozen, and ready to grill—and the PC® Classic Street Cart Sausages™. For a fancy backyard party, you’re going to want to try the PC® Wild Argentinian Shrimp Platter with Creamy Citrus Herb Sauce—a fresh take on the shrimp cocktail—and the PC® Lobster Roll Kit—just defrost, add some lettuce, and fill the little buns. How easy is that?

Tip: Earning PC Optimum™ points¹ on every dollar you spend on groceries with your PC Financial® card is easy too. You can earn up to 10 points per dollar with your no monthly fee PC Money™ Account and up to 30 points per dollar with your no annual fee PC® Mastercard® when you shop at participating grocery stores. It’s sure to help you pile on the points for your summer meals!

2. Make your summer nights extra special.

The PC® Insiders Report™ - Summer Edition is packed with so many new, must-try products that I had a hard time choosing my favourites. I landed on these showstopping picks with big flavour to help make your summer nights extra special. First on my list are the PC® Black Label Umami Wagyu Burgers, made with rich, buttery beef seasoned with an umami flavour bomb of shiitake and parmesan. Next up are the PC® Filipino Chicken Adobo Lumpia Spring Rolls with Vegetables and Chicken – a twist on the Filipino classic, this appetizer is golden, crispy, and easy to cook from frozen when last minute guests show up. And you can even grill them! Firing up some juicy burgers? Pair them with the PC® Ube Pandesal Buns which are actually purple on the inside—they’re made with Ube, a purple sweet potato, so they’re a little sweet, a little savoury, and super versatile. They’re the part of your night your guests won’t forget.

Tip: Don’t forget to link your PC Optimum™ and PC Financial® accounts to maximize your points earning potential. Linking your accounts allows you to view your PC Optimum™ points balance, see how much you can redeem² toward free stuff at participating stores, and load your personalized offers in your PC Financial® app.

3. Grab easy snacks on the go.

Wherever your summer adventures take you, don’t get caught without snacks—but you don’t need to spend all your time prepping ahead of time either. Chips are an obvious choice and there’s no shortage of incredible flavours to try. The “it” chips for this summer are the PC® World of Flavours Filipino Adobo Chicken Flavour Rippled Potato Chips—a total taste explosion! Now that we’ve covered chips, you absolutely need to try this dip: the PC® 4-Layer Loaded Pierogi Dip. You read that right—four layers that taste exactly like a plate of pierogies, deconstructed into a dip. Last but not least, stock up on refreshing drinks, like PC® Orange Cream Soda Flavour Sparkling Water and the new PC® Blue Menu Calamansi Citrus & Strawberry Sparkling Water. The first one is like an ice cream float with zero calories and the second is so refreshing with a zing of calamansi, a bright lemon-lime-orange hybrid that’s made for summer.

Tip: To breeze through checkout and earn points on the go, add your PC Financial® card to your mobile wallet. It’s a secure way to pay that helps you carry less and streamline your wallet for your summer adventures.

4. Keep dessert super chill.

No bake, no fuss, and max enjoyment—that’s the goal for all my summer treats! The new PC® Ube Boba Cream Pie caught my eye immediately as I was flipping through the PC® Insiders Report™ - Summer Edition. This purple cream pie is studded with actual boba pearls. I’ve never tasted anything like it—you just have to try it! Or if you’re feeling fork-free, ice cream bites are the move. PC® Plant Based Peanut Butter Delights are covered in a crackly chocolate shell for a sweet and savoury PB-and-chocolate moment. And for the cookie dough obsessed (hello, me!), PC® Cookie Dough Vanilla Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Bites are a must. Edible cookie dough on the outside, chocolate chip ice cream on the inside—I’ll be popping these non-stop all summer long!

Tip: You know what else is sweet? Redeeming the points you’ve earned with your PC Financial® card to treat yourself. I’m redeeming my points toward the new PC® Cold Brew Coffee Maker so that I’ve always got a chilled coffee in the fridge when I need it. Try pairing it with a frozen dessert to bask in the refreshing feeling of redeeming² the points you’ve earned toward free stuff.

Speaking of free stuff, earning and redeeming points with your PC Financial® card is a great way to stay on budget this summer. You can use tools like the Insights feature in the PC Financial® app to track your spending and adjust your budget if needed. You can also supplement—not only with the points you’ve earned, but also with the money you’ve saved on fees with your no monthly fee PC Money™ Account and your no annual fee PC® Mastercard®. While summer may be short, it’s a time to create great memories with family and friends. Use these tips to elevate your meals, activities, and entertainment so you can make the most of summer while staying on budget. Check out the PC® Insiders Report™ - Summer Edition (opens in a new window)External link for more inspiration.

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General information not about PC Financial® products is provided for your reference and interest only. The above content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and is not a substitute for and should not be construed as the advice of an experienced professional. PC Financial® does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of this content.

¹PC® Mastercard®: Earn a minimum of 10 PC Optimum™ points per dollar on all of your purchases charged to the credit card. Any bonus PC Optimum™ points offers available to all PC Financial® Mastercard® customers are calculated based on the regular earnings rate of 10 PC Optimum™ points per dollar spent. This offer may be terminated or changed at any time. PC Money™ Account: Earn at least 5 PC Optimum™ points per dollar on qualifying purchases with your PC Money™ Account, wherever your card is accepted. Earn 10 PC Optimum™ points (5 regular PC Optimum™ points plus a bonus of 5 PC Optimum™ points) per dollar on qualifying purchases at participating Loblaw banner stores, Shoppers Drug Mart® stores, Joe Fresh® stores, and Esso™ and Mobil™ stations in Canada. Bill payments, electronic funds transfers, account fees and interest are not qualifying purchases for the purpose of earning PC Optimum™ points. PC Optimum™ points will be deducted for any credits or returns. President's Choice Bank reserves the right to cancel, change or extend regular and bonus points earning rates at any time. Account must be in good standing at time of qualifying transaction and awarding of points.

²Minimum redemption is 10,000 PC Optimum™ points (worth $10 in rewards) and in increments of 10,000 points thereafter at participating stores where President’s Choice® products are sold. Some redemption restrictions apply; visit pcoptimum.ca for details, participating stores and full loyalty terms and conditions.

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