We eat a lot of beans. Bulk dry beans are cheap. Dirt cheap. Especially if you buy them in 50-pound bags. :) A friend of mine said she always does her refried beans in the crock pot. I'd never even thought of doing that! I soaked a huge mound of beans all day, then drained them. I put 2/3 in the freezer pre-soaked to be processed later. I put the rest of the beans in the crock pot, enough to fill it 75% full, covered the beans with water, and added a chopped onion and 3 cloves of garlic. I set it on low and let it go all night long. In the morning I seasoned the beans with salt and cumin, pureed them in the food processor, then put them in the freezer in quart-sized bags. (A quart easily feeds all of us for at least one dinner and two lunches. A few beans go a long way!) They were delicious! I thought they were a lot better than stovetop beans and they even had a richer color.
Other beans we actually enjoy are black beans, red lentils (not so fond of the brown ones), soy beans (fresh and dried for making soy milk or tofu) and chick peas. Other beans are just a bowl of good nutrition for a good price. It's been a very beany week, and I find myself happily anticipating tomorrow's roast chicken.