It's easy to cook your own beans rather than buying canned. Raw beans are cheaper and don't have any of that BPA found in cans. (Pocket and planet win!)
The process can vary depending on how much time you have. Tonight I was pressed for time so I made beans in about 90 minutes while I chopped the rest of the ingredients for vegetarian chili and started that cooking. When the beans were done, I added them to the chili and simmered for a while longer.
The basic procedure is pretty easy: put beans in a pot with a lid. Cover with water and an extra 2" of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until you like the consistency. Most books say between 30 minutes and 4 hours.
If you get your act together ahead of time, you can do a longer soaking method, such as overnight.
Pocket: 7, Planet: 13, Win-Win: 41