neither of my kids did the rice/baby cereal thing. I think I tried with ds a few times but I he hated it. My mom claims he would take it from her though, I don't know.
I don't do jar food....I have a food grinder that grinds the food and then I just add some gravy/sauce/water from the pot or just tap water to make it the right consistency. You can put anything in there; it's a hand grinder but I have done pork chops in it! Also really finely grated cheese, mashed banana, avocado, mango and potatoes are some favorite fall back foods. Today 6 month old dd had regular oatmeal & some gerber puffs for breakfast and for lunch she had leftover parmesan chicken (I grated it using a cheese grater into tiny shavings that she could self-feed), banana slices and grated monterey jack cheese.
It is totally pontless to give that baby cereal. The only advantage that I know of is the iron in it, and lots of foods have iron in them...beets for example, spinach and lots of others. I'd rather my baby get her iron from an actual FOOD rather than the processed, "enriched" cereal crap.
We do get baby food and cereal from WIC, and I take it to the consignment store here and trade it in forstore credit to get things I need (like my food grinder to make her "baby food"!)