A hard-up mother-of-two stole track suits for her children from Sports Direct in Burnley, the town's magistrates heard.
Tracey Wilson went back to her old thieving ways because she had no money to buy the £60 clothing for the youngsters.
The court was told the 44-year-old had been armed with clippers to remove tags from the items. She owned up when caught.
The defendant, said to have convictions for shoplifting going back "many a year", admitted theft on August 22nd. Wilson, of Whalley New Road in Blackburn, was given a six week curfew between 7pm and 7am and must pay an £85 victim surcharge.
Mr Ben Leech, defending, said Wilson's benefits were in a "state of disarray" and the family of four had been living hand-to-mouth on £100 a week. The children needed new track suits ready for school.
The solicitor continued: "She totally regrets her behaviour, that she has placed herself in this position once again."