I always keep four kinds of soup base in my pantry: chicken, beef, ham and vegetable. I add it when I feel that a recipe tastes good, but I want more flavor. It is economical and is now available to the home cook at the grocery store.
The ham base tastes great in bean and vegetable dishes. It tastes as if I have been cooking all day with a hamhock or piece of ham. One tablespoon in the pot makes a huge difference.
For a few pennies you can take a meal from ho hum to great. Frugal and it makes the cook's job easier!