Nigel Bradford took a £45 Tassimo coffee machine from a display at B&M Bargains, at 10.30am, and two toy kits worth £40, from WH Smiths, at 1pm, on June 7.
He was recognised by staff at the Bridge Street stores, and later told police he had sold the items for cash.
Michael Little, mitigating, said Bradford had been signed off work eight years ago with anxiety and depression, for which he receives the highest doses of medication.
“He was quite clearly not suitable for work,” he said. “He missed an appointment for Universal Credit when his daughter was in hospital with bronchitis.”
He said Bradford, who lives on friends’ sofas, had his benefits cut in half to £250 per month and he had struggled to afford food.
Bradford, 26, care of Netherton Road, admitted two counts of theft, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday.
He told the court: “I do apologise for my mistake.”
He was ordered to pay £85 compensation to the stores.