Back-To-School Guide In Pittsburgh

August 10, 2012 5:00 AM

(Photo Credit: CBS)

You and the family could throw down hundreds on back-to-school supplies and clothes, but at the end of the day, that big chain-store trip just stresses everyone out. Branch out this year with everything from consignment shops to supply stores the whole family will love. Save money and have a bit of an adventure with back-to-school shopping like you’ve never done it before.

Plato’s Closet
1025 Washington Pike
Bridgeville, PA 15017
(412) 257-5200

Cruise on over to Plato’s Closet, bring in your gently used clothing, and use that money to shop. Enjoy top-name brands, keeping up with the latest trends, priced lower than at the mall or other department stores. Be sure to check the accessories for stylish jewelry, shoes, belts and hats. Customer and gift cards are available for discounts on the next purchase as well, so take advantage of a full-on shopping experience that won’t hurt the wallet.

Related: Which Pittsburgh Family Friendly Activity Do You Prefer?

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7400-1/2 Church St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
(412) 271-0544

Located near Pittsburgh in Swissvale, this thrift store is conveniently filled with clothing and merchandise perfect for any budget-conscious family. Expect an easy shopping experience with price tags that’ll please any parent. Myriad choices include books, furniture and accessories in designer brands with shoes to match. Collectibles and sporting equipment are available, along with electronics to complement any budget-friendly, family shopping trip.

Top Notch Art Centre
411 S. Craig St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 683-4444

A trip to the Oakland district near the Carnegie Museum may save families a solid amount of cash. Top Notch’s experienced staff knows which sale and discount items you need for your back-to-school purchases. Take home drawing supplies, pencils, pens, markers, notebooks, paper, glue and all types of painting products and accessories perfect to fill any backpack or messenger bag. You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy the quality products offered at this cozy store, which boasts amazing summer specials.

Shadyside Variety Store
5421 Walnut St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
(412) 681-1716

Get lost in time in an excursion to this variety store that’ll give the children an opportunity to experience a store than seems to have everything. The comfortable confines of Shadyside Variety Store offers novelty items, toys, puzzles, books and games that promote learning. Take home crayons, drawing pads, pencils, pens, markers, coloring books and painting accessories for creative play. 

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(Credit: CBS)

Your Classroom Connection
1015 W. Main
Monongahela, PA 15063
(724) 292-8013

Your Classroom Connection provides myriad educational supplies for parents and teachers for a one-stop shopping experience. Its selection includes arts and crafts, creative play, puzzles, desk supplies, games, books and a vast assortment of office and school equipment. Choose from an abundance of folders, binders, writing tools, staplers, bulletin boards and paper products to get the kids set up for the first day of school.

Little Snips
Scott Towne Center
2101 Greentree Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
(412) 279-4555

Click here for prices

Experienced hair stylists here offer haircuts in an adventuresome shop for children of all ages. The shop is adorned with walls depicting a jungle scene and colorful murals, and chairs are replicas of vehicles to make this a fun and relaxing atmosphere. Waiting won’t be a problem as there are play areas to keep the children busy with toys, games and electronic devices to play videos. 

Dante Salon
5823 Ellsworth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
(412) 404-7673

Click here for prices

Nestled comfortably in Shadyside, the Dante Salon, a full-service facility meets the hairstyle needs of the entire family. These stylists have a background in excellence from reputable training schools. Visitors get more than a hair cut here, as the stylists discuss needs and services, covering every detail with precision. Stylists here offer ample options, and these professionals know how to handle the youngsters.

Related: Best Classes for Kids

Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at

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