One of the things I like to do, even though I don't do it all the time, is to use dried beans. I know that canned beans are not expensive but you can still save a lot of money by using dried beans.
If you haven't tried dried beans before let me explain how easy it is. At night, empty the bag of beans into a strainer sifting the beans through your hands as you do so checking for clumps of dirt and small rocks (this is normal). Rinse the beans, then place in a large bowl and cover with water at least 2 inches above beans. Place on the counter and let them soak in the water overnight. In the morning, drain the soaking water and rinse beans again, then place in pot and cover with water. Add salt and seasonings, if desired, and then boil for one and a half to two hours (I like to cook mine in the crock pot) . Let cool, then place in ziplock freezer bags in measurements of two cups, then freeze. They will be ready for any recipe in which you need beans.
It's really not that time consuming and you really can save a lot of money.