Local banking is all about helping people. And everyone can do with a little help over Christmas. That's why we asked TSB Partners to share their top Christmas tips. Each one has been selected to help you make the most of every penny this festive season. Because it's not about spending more. It's about friends, family and those personal touches that bring Christmas to life.
Tip 1. Guarantee greeting cards get there in time
"878 million greeting cards were sent in 2014, but you don't have to spend money on first class stamps to ensure your cards get there on time. Just send them before December 19. This is the Royal Mail's cut off date for 2nd class mail."
For all other dates, including international see their website: http://www.royalmail.com/greetings
Adam, Local Banker, Gainsborough Branch
Tip 2. Affordable (and tasty) Christmas decorations
"The average British household spends £43 pounds on Christmas trees, cards and decorations. This is my tip to help you save a few pounds - gingerbread Christmas Decorations! They look good, they're tasty and they'll help with the Christmas budgeting."
Click here for the recipe: http://bbc.in/19S87Bc
Benn, Bank Manager, Boscombe Branch
Tip 3. A smart way to make the kid's presents even better
"The first thing kids want to do when they rip open their presents is play. I suggest cutting those tough ties, and pre-filling the gift with batteries. Then they can play straight away, and you'll avoid any tantrums!"
Chris, Bank Manager, Gainsborough Branch
Tip 4. How to (financially) prepare for Christmas
"Christmas is all about great preparation. It's true about the turkey. It's also true about your finances. And with 1 in 8 expected to experience a Christmas financial hangover, I suggest you pop into a TSB (or your bank) to talk about setting up text alerts and an agreed overdraft. This will help you manage your finances over the Christmas period, and save you from any surprises."
Emma, Local Banker, Rutherglen Branch
Tip 5. How to freshen up your Christmas vegetables
"This is my top tip to revitalise any vegetables that are starting to get a little soft. Put them in cold water just before cooking. This can give them the drink they need to become crisp and delicious again."
Fiona, Bank Manager, Holborn Branch
Tip 6. How to give presents that personal touch
"My kids love to draw so we end up with stacks and stacks of paper. Rather than throwing it out, wrap your presents in them. The grandparents love it, it gets the kids involved and you'll save on expensive wrapping paper."
Kai, Bank Manager, Chelmsford Branch
Tip 7. Make Christmas dinner go even further
"Britons send over £64 million worth of Christmas food to the bin. This tip will keep your leftovers out of the bin and off the daily menu in the week following Christmas. Prepare fantastic meals with your leftovers, then freeze for a later date. One of my favourites is a Potato and Turkey Curry:"
Click here for the recipe: http://bit.ly/1bSRucF
Joe, Local Banker, Dunmow Branch
Tip 8. How to make pretty decorations with leftover paper
"My tip is to make little bows from wrapping paper offcuts. It's really simple and is a great way to turn something you were going to throw out into a lovely and affordable decoration."
Click here for a step-by-step guide: http://bit.ly/1TeDMok
Jodie, Bank Manager, Bath Branch
Tip 9. Quick and easy gifts the kids can make
"Kids love to give gifts but it can be costly to get something for all their teachers and friends. My tip is to run down to a pound shop, pick up a frame, some decorations and glue. Then supervise the kids as they decorate them. This is a great way to keep the kids busy and make some personal gifts."
Lauren, Digital Team, TSB Head Office
Tip 10. A little tip to minimise that financial hangover
"14 million British people are expected to put Christmas on credit. If you think you'll have to it's important to think ahead so you can save as much as possible. You could consolidate any debt onto a low-rate card. This will save on interest in the long run and help to soothe that Christmas hangover."
Nicola, Local Banker, St Vincent Street, Glasgow Branch
Tip 11. Keep unwanted gifts from staying unwanted
"Each year £2.4 billion is spent on unwanted gifts. My tip is a simple one: keep the receipt in case they want to return the gift. Also, ask if the store does gift receipts, or if they can write 'gift' on their copy. This will help when returning a gift without the credit card that was used to purchase it."
Ashton, Local Banker, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh Branch
Tip 12. Make opening gifts even more fun for kids
"Kids love to play with wrapping paper. Sometimes even more than the presents you spent ages finding! My tip is to wrap your gifts in kid-friendly tissue paper. It's fun and makes it easy for the little ones to rip up."
Jo, Local Banker, Hessle Branch