The pizza stone is a great idea, but don’t buy one at a kitchen store–go to Lowe’s and buy some unglazed tile. Four of them are perfect for a pizza–just put them together on the oven rack. The seams between them won’t matter, as long as they’re good and hot before you put the pizza on. The cost is about $3. I have them on the top rack of my oven as well, so I have an extra well of heat cooking the toppings on the pizza.
Ideally, this will also require the use of a peel rather than a pan for the pizza, so that it cooks right on the stones. This takes some practice to get right.
Rather than the premade crust, try one of the ones from a box or a pouch. Jiffy and Martha White both make fine ones. I lived on these in med school before I had a good stand mixer and started making my own. I still use them when I want pizza and don’t want to go whole-hog.
The garlic oil helps. I use Wolfgang Puck’s chili-garlic oil–separate and clean a whole head of garlic, add it to a pan with a cup of extra-virgin olive oil (no need to use the expensive stuff here), and put it on medium-low heat until the garlic just starts to turn brown. (Don’t let it get too dark.) Remove it from the heat, add a generous tablespoon of red pepper flakes, and let it steep for a couple of hours, then strain it. It’ll keep for a long time in the fridge.
I hate to ask, but…you are using real mozzarella, right? Some of the stuff in the bagged cheese section is actually imitation cheese food product, or some such crime against humanity. This can take a pizza from edible to suck in and of itself. Just check the bag. I also like to get provolone from the deli and use that–I have 'em slice it thin and just lay it on there.
I’ve never had pasta sauce I liked from a can, nor anything good that was labeled as “pizza sauce”. Step up to the jar, at least–I like Prego, personally. This is something that is definitely worthwhile to learn to make–make a huge batch and freeze it in small portions.
Dr. J (who takes his pizza seriously)