We make most of our own baby food here. It's easy, fresh and cheap, but I think the main benefit is knowing exactly what your baby is eating. Not because I don't trust baby food companies, but because it's just easier when you are introducing new foods. (Also because CSID. But that's a whole other conversation.)
At Christmas the Hubster gave me a Black & Decker smoothie blender. At the time I was all "oh, gee...thanks?" But later I figured out all that it could do and thanked him properly. The best feature of this blender is that it fits on mason jars-which is great for so many reasons. Especially baby food.
I start my baby food with some diced whatever. Here I used pears. Put them in a small mason jar with a bit of water and steam until tender in the microwave (about 1 minute).
Let them cool a bit, then fit on the blender lid and pop on the blender.
No really. That's it. No special equipment. No $100+ baby food maker. Just a mason jar, a microwave, and a personal blender (or any blender that fits on a mason jar.)
FYI- While I was writing this post, the Personal Assistant decided to make a cake and got down the food coloring. Mr. Baby grabbed it and took off running. While I was tracking him down, the P.A. found my charcoal drawing kit from college and sorted it by color, on the bed. I sent him to wash his hands while I picked up the charcoal. Mr. Baby toddled in to present me with the Hubster's athletic cup, which he found under the sink when he followed big brother to the bathroom. Making baby food is easier than all that.