Because you had no outstanding warrants for your arrest, and you pleaded guilty, you received a charge and release to appear in court. In regards to what the officer said about sorting it out, he is really meaning the court date of appearance and in case you have legitimate grounds to change this date of appearance but regardless you will still have to appear in court over this offence.
Once you deprive the property of its owner with no intentions to offer any payment for the property you have committed a criminal offence. You cannot simply turn around and offer payment as your intentions were clear prior to being caught. The value of the property is not an issue, a criminal offence is still a chargeable offence but regardless it is up to the store to report it to the police and from there they can either caution you or charge you. There can be many factors that would prevent this such as the value of the property recovered over the expense or time involved in dealing with the case, what the stores policy is and depending if there is a zero tolerance to deter further incidents or if they participate in civil recovery that could cover the costs involved (it costs money and time to process a shoplifter)
When you appear in court you will be simply asked if you are guilty or not guilty. You will have a legal advisor who will most probably tell you to plee guilty as i'm sure there will be cctv evidence against you therefore it is advised to accept the consequences for your actions in which the court will favour you for. If you plee not guilty then the case will most likely be adjourned in order to gather evidence and witness against you. This will cost the court in expense such as the witness being paid his/her loss of earning and travel expenses (the lpo who arrested you)u, the police officer and the time involved to transfer the cctv evidence into a suitable format for the court to view. You will be seen as guilty, the penalty higher and the compensations costs much greater.
In this case, being a first time offence, you will get a slap on the wrist.... most probably a small affordable penalty and perhaps a little compensation towards the store for the time involved in dealing with you. But it is not that that you should be worried most about... you will now have a criminal record. Get caught again and the penalties much greater. In order for you to go to jail you would have to of done it many many times with greater value involved. Usually the organised and full time lifters get this who have been dealt with many many times.
You know yourself it's not worth doing and it can soon spiral way out of control if you continue to steal. It affects not yourself, but your family relations too. Put your hand in the cookie jar and it will get stuck.
As an added note, because you got caught this time doesn't not mean to say they don't have evidence against you for previous offence that you got away with. In this case they don't. But alot of the times if you keep stealing from a store, and they don;t notice until you have gone, many lpo's will record an incident down and bring it all out against you once they catch you. Hence you could be charged for all offences in one go. The most i seen was a male who, over a year, stole over 10k worth of stuff with each offence reported, the cctv evidence stored, and was eventually caught for the first time. All the cd's were put on the table in front of him, he broke down into tears and was sent to jail for 6 months. He may of thought he got away with it, but he was very badly wrong. CCTV are all digital these days. They can store footage for months now on one small simple hard drive with most stores sharing the info with other stores and RACS database.