They have no-gift birthday parties where any gifts brought go into the donate box so now friends and family do take them seriously and only bring gifts if they want to donate.
The book has practical advice for cleaning, saving money, couponing, sales etc. also. They did a month of zero spending (almost--basic food necessities and bills and then ate what they could creatively from the pantry--saved $1,000 that month). They did that by very seriously looking at wants vs. needs. That included home repairs, gifts and basic purchases we often make.