If you've been thinking of upgrading your kitchen, now is the time.
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Credit: Photo: Bjorn Wallanders/Otto

There's a reason why the phrase "Christmas in July" gets shoppers excited, and it's because retailers—from low-cost department stores to luxury brands—run steep discounts and deals that are as hot as the weather.

And according to analysts at Consumer Reports, the consumer group that tracks prices and tests products, July is the best time of year to find widespread sales on big-ticket kitchen appliances, like dishwashers, freezers, and microwaves—as well as gas grills.

Sales on expensive appliances are rare, but Consumer Reports says that adding new appliances to your kitchen—whether for a complete remodel or just to upgrade one item—is more affordable in July in part thanks to Amazon.

Amazon Prime Day is the e-commerce giant's annual mid-summer sale, where members can find kitchen items such as coffee makers, blenders, and other kitchen gadgets up to 40 percent off their original prices.  

In addition to Amazon's sales event, Consumer Reports found that the sale prices on kitchen appliances are at their most aggressive this month, and they've published a few tips to help you find the best deal possible.

We're highlighting those tips below, plus a few sales that have already caught our eye:

1) Gas Grills

Now's the time to buy a new gas grill for your patio or backyard. Consumer Reports advises that stainless steel grills—versus those grills that are painted steel—are more desirable given that they're made to last without assembly requiring nuts and bolts.

Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Warranties are another thing to keep your eye out for: does the grill come with a warranty for each of its burners? Those are usually the first part of a grill to break, and saving yourself the trouble of throwing out a grill due to broken burners could be a perk worth looking for.

  • Lowe's: This home superstore is discounting all gas grills by 20 percent through the first week of July, but expect further discounts closer to August. Each Lowe's has a selection of discounted floor-models for you to consider as well.
  • Home Depot: Another big-box home retailer where you can find deals on gas grills this month, like this highly-rated Nexgrill stainless steel option that is currently priced at 26 percent off.
  • Target: July 4th sales are rampant at Target, where you can find a compact stainless steel Char-Broil gas grill for under $150. Using Target's Cartwheel mobile app, which helps customers find coupons and sales on every item in store, those looking for a deal on a gas grill will be able to tell which model is on the largest clearance of all.

2) Dishwashers

Shopping for a new dishwasher can be tough: There are a wide variety of features, and popular models can range anywhere between $225 to $2,200. Some of the more pricey dishwashers have WiFi connectivity and targeted cycles for particularly filthy dishes, but many spectacular models are on sale for well under $500 this month.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Best Buy.

  • Best Buy: The electronics retailer might not strike you as the first place to look for a new dishwasher, but they're running some particularly great sales on dishwashers this month—and they'll match any better price you happen to find elsewhere. This stainless steel Samsung model is well-made, hides clunky controls, and is energy-efficient, all for $345.
  • Costco: If you happen to be a member, Costco offers some notoriously aggressive sale prices on dishwashers in their arsenal. You'll have to log in to see the final sale price, but if you're dead set on re-doing your kitchen this summer, purchasing a membership could be worth it.

3) Space-Saving Microwaves

If your countertop is tight on space or if you're looking to make more room, over-the-range microwaves can be substituted for any grill hood you currently have installed. You can find over-the-range microwaves, loaded with venting capabilities and strong lights for your oven's top, for less than $200 this month.

Consumer Reports advises shoppers to find microwaves with a steam sensor, which turns the microwave off automatically when cooking is finished.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Home Depot.

Looking for a way to shop the most affordable sales without shelling out membership fees? You can sign up for a trial of Amazon Prime just before Prime day, which takes place normally around July 15, and still enjoy all the deals set to take place. Unfortunately, Costco doesn't offer any kind of "trial period" for its members, but if you currently know a Costco member, they can purchase Costco Cash gift cards in amounts up to $1,000 that anyone can use in stores.