Costin Valentin Ispir, 27, of Howard Road, Mansfield, admitted two counts of theft on March 15 and March 19.
The court heard Ispir simply loaded his trolley with goods, worth respectively £318 and £442, and walked out without paying.
Robert Carr, prosecuting, said: “On the 15th he was stopped immediately outside. At that point Mr Ispir ran away. He was accompanied by a woman who also had a trolley load of goods. Neither she nor the goods were apprehended.”
Four days later, Ispir and his partner, Alexandra Savu, entered the same store.
“They were seen with a trolley full of goods,” said Mr Carr. “Staff were suspicious. They made no attempt to pay for the goods and were detained.”
Savu, also of Howard Road, admitted the theft.
Morgan Hogarth, mitigating, said: “They came to the UK two months ago, looking to start a new life, gain employment and, in the future, support Miss Savu’s unborn child. She is four months pregnant.”
The court heard the couple had worked at Sport Direct in Shirebrook for one month.
“Given the employment practises of Sports Direct, it is impossible to say if there’s any discredit to them for the loss of the jobs,” said Mr Hogarth.
“Since they’re not entitled to benefits Mr Ispir got some temporary work in a car wash. They have no permanent address and are staying with a friend from the same region of Romania.”
Jonathan Hand, for the probation service, said: “They have no income at all.
“Both advise that these offences were committed out of desperation as they simply had no money to eat.”
The court heard they had no previous convictions and had tested negative for drugs.
Savu was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15.
Ispir was given a 12 month community order and told to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work and pay a £60 victim surcharge. No costs were awarded because of their lack of means.