You can use canned or dried beans : I use canned to save time and because I like variety. They are very inexpensive. The most expensive ones are some organic black soybeans that I buy at my food co-op and those are $1.29. I seldom pay more than 75 cents for anything else. And a can of beans goes a long way!
There are many paths up the mountain but we'll all reach the peak if we just keep climbing.