Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Better than Brown N Serve Dinner Rolls - For the Bread Maker

As a kid, all we ever had for dinner rolls were the packaged Brown n Serve rolls that you get at the store. I used to buy these for my family before I knew I was capable of making my own rolls. Those cannot possibly be good for you with who knows what additives added in to keep them fresh and doughlike until you brown them.
Well, several years later of bread making, I have branched out and now make my own rolls. These rolls are just awesome. They are great with soup! You will get about 20 rolls from a batch.

1 1/4 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. sugar 
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp yeast

Add the ingredients to your mixers pan in the order given. Insert pan into the maker and set to Dough setting. Press start and wait for it to finish the cycle.
When the dough is done rising, remove it from the pan. Roll the dough into golf ball sized balls and place into a 9 x 13in casserole pan. I like to use my Pyrex pan because I just prefer how things bake in glass. Cover the pan and let rise until doubled; about 30-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes. When done, remove from the pan and serve warm.  Honey, butter, soup, whatever goes well with them. You can also freeze any leftovers.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ameriplan Review

I decided to write this review because I joined Ameriplan in January of this past year. I only stayed on for two months. My goal was to give it a full year and, from there, to move into leadership. Well, my conscience got the best of me, and I had to say good-bye.

Ameriplan was founded in 1992 in Plano, Texas. They are a Health and Dental Benefits company. Ameriplan is not insurance but rather a discount "club" for health and dental care. They are partnered with major companies and offer discounts on Health Care, Dental, Vision, Prescriptions, Hearing, Lasik plus more. The plans range from $14.95 to $150.00 a month. Most plans cover an entire household, related or not.

In order to join as a worker, you must enroll in one of the Platinum Plans.  You have three options, and each offers different levels of discount coverage. Also, your commission rate is determined by which plan you enroll with.

The Platinum Plan is $50 a month and will give you a 40% upfront commission and then a 20% monthly residual commission. This will give you discounts on Dental, Vision, Prescription, and Chiropractic. You also get Legal and Financial, Identity Theft Protection, Roadside Assistance, and discounts at retailers nationwide.

The Total Platinum Plan is $75 a month and gives you a 60% upfront commission and then a 30% residual commission. You will get all the benefits that are in the Platinum Plan plus discounts on Health Care.

The Platinum Freedom Pass Plan is $150 a month and gives you an 80% upfront commission and then 40% monthly residual income. You get all of the benefits in the other two plans plus discounts on travel, golf, cruises, resorts and condos, spas, and more.

When you start out as a worker, you are considered an IBO (Independent Business Owner). I personally feel that being considered a business owner is misleading. Independent Contractor or even Consultant seems more appropriate. The plus is that you are able to claim your business expenses on your taxes.
I do personally feel that the company itself is legit. They offer a discount service that has helped people who could have been ruined financially if they were not a member and did not have traditional health insurance. For a better review of what their service has to offer vs. traditional insurance, you can read the article at MedSave .

Now I will tell you what it is that I feel leans to the side of "scam". Once you join as an IBO, you are trained to post ads on free classified sites like Craigslist, even though Craigslist prohibits MLM job post. These ads are for both the membership plans and for the work at home opportunity. The membership ads are fine, but it is the work at home opportunity that is very misleading.

Here is just one ad example:
Ad Category:  Customer Service
Subject Title Line: Customer Service - Telecommute
Description: Nationwide Health Benefits Company seeking homeworkers. Full-time/Part-time positions available. Customer service exp. preferred, but no exp. necessary. Must have internet and phone, and be able to work at least 10-12 hours a week. Training provided via telephone and internet Includes benefits. Reply for more info.
Compensation: $500-$1000 a week

When someone responds to the ad you are to "interview" them to see if they are a good fit to work with the company. This is a crock to me because anyone can join through your website without ever talking to you. This ad is not telling the whole truth. It is not a job but rather a multilevel marketing opportunity. Most of the people you "interview" are in search of a real job and not an MLM opportunity.

I was able to recruit several people rather quickly, but none of them stayed on for more than a few days.  I did enjoy talking to people but felt I was being deceitful when going over my script. The script starts out with company information and goes into the benefits that the company offers. Once you have someone convinced that they would be a good fit for Ameriplan, you go into the fact that it is really an opportunity that will cost money and not a job. Also, if someone wanted to join, they would need a credit card or a bank account because the monthly fees are automatically withdrawn once a month.

What started to turn my stomach was talking to people who were truly desperate.   Some did not have a computer available to them, and several that I spoke to did not even have a credit card let alone a bank account. My heart broke for them, and I felt like such a louse. I do not like doing a bait and switch on anyone, and that is exactly what I was trained to do. That is the whole reason why I quit and feel that the work at home part leans towards "scam" or, at the very least, misleading.