I own an aquariumr etail store and I need to separate LIVESTOCK from DRY GOODS within the same store. For example if a customer purchases an item classified as a DRY GOOD he can ship this item ground, 2 day, etc. but if the customer buys an item classified as LIVESTOCK he can ONLY ship the item Next Day Air.
I want the cart to show the product total of LIVESTOCK items and DRY GOODS items separately.
I also want to offer free shipping on these catagories. For example if DRY GOODS items exceed $175 then DRY GOODS items ship free. If LIVESTOCK items exceed $300 then LIVESTOCK items ship free. I need DRY GOODS free shipping to not affect the LIVESTOCK shipping or vise versa.
For free shipping you can try to use shopping cart discounts. You can view short guide here.
For the second issue you will need to build extension which rewrite logic where Magento if shipping method is allowed.
Or you can try extensions as i see there are Shipping per Product extensions by Amasty, it may do what you looking for.
Thanks, hope it was helpful.